Only days after President Donald Trump’s successful summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, the Pentagon this week announced that it was sending $200 million in military aid to the Kiev regime.
The new package of military aid is said to be for boosting the “command and control” readiness of the Ukraine Armed Forces (UAF). It follows the supply earlier this year, in March, of $47 million-worth of “lethal” armaments in the form of US-made Javelin anti-tank missiles.
The UAF on the orders of President Poroshenko and the regime in Kiev have been waging a war against pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine for nearly four years, since the Kiev regime came to power in a CIA-backed coup d’état.
Russia deplored the latest US military subvention to Ukraine, saying it clearly shows that Washington is an “accomplice” to the conflict, not a mediator for a peaceful resolution. The latest $200m aid disbursement brings the total American military support to the Kiev regime to $1 billion since the bloody coup in 2014.
Senator Rob Portman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee hailed the Pentagon aid with stridently bellicose rhetoric. Portman said, with typically appalling American ignorance, it sends a “clear message that America stands with the Ukrainian people in their struggle against Russian aggression”. As if the people of Eastern Ukraine aren’t Ukrainian.
On the face of it, the Pentagon is pointedly undermining President Trump and what he appeared to agree with President Putin in their landmark summit in Helsinki on July 16. The two leaders stated then that they agreed to cooperate on finding a political solution to the Ukraine conflict: meaning a renewed endorsement of the Minsk Peace Accord, which Russia had overseen with the European powers of Germany and France under the so-called Normandy format back in 2015.
By ratcheting up its military support to the Kiev regime, the Pentagon is evidently egging on Poroshenko and his UAF to ignore the Minsk accord and to seek a military solution, not a political solution.
That inevitably means more emboldened aggression towards the breakaway self-declared republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. The war in Ukraine is set to become even hotter than it already is. The Pentagon is effectively giving a green light to more deadly conflict on Russia’s Western border.
This has to be placed in the wider context of the relentless buildup of US-led NATO forces along the entire Russian Western flank. This week, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reiterated serious concerns that NATO was escalating more offensive capability, and that Russia must make appropriate defensive preparations.
What we are seeing since the Trump-Putin summit is a determined rearguard move by forces within the US political-military establishment to sabotage the American president’s attempted rapprochement with Moscow. Immediately following the summit, the US establishment and its dutiful corporate news media embarked on a full-scale campaign to undercut Trump, labelling him a “traitor” and denouncing him for capitulating to an “enemy state”.
The US media rhetoric, post-Helsinki, has been nothing short of hysterical Russophobia.
The move by the Pentagon to boost the Kiev regime’s military is part of that countervailing effort by deep US political-military forces to prevent any normalization with Russia. President Putin indeed warned of these malign US forces last week during an address to his diplomatic corps in Moscow only days after Helsinki.
Another corollary of this sinister countervailing influence was seen in Syria this week. US military commanders said they had no intention of cooperating with Russian counterparts in enabling the resettlement of refugees to Syria from neighboring countries. Again, the proposal for military-to-military cooperation on the return of Syrian refugees was something that Trump had agreed to with Putin in Helsinki.
The summit in Helsinki was a welcome sign of long-overdue dialogue and commitment to partnership between the American president and his Russian counterpart.
Unfortunately, subsequent signals from Washington do not augur well for substantial follow-up to what was agreed in Helsinki.
President Trump is evidently not the master of his American house. It is impossible to discern a reliable American policy. The president seems to say one thing, while other factions within the American ruling class have other, nefarious agendas.
The problem for Russia is that President Trump, in spite of his personal cordial inclinations, is not the arbiter of American policy nor, ultimately, US power for that matter. The American deep state and its strategic planners seem to have a hellbent antagonism towards Russia. That thesis is corroborated with several strategic policy documents that have been published under the Trump administration, which provocatively define Russia, as well as China, as a global enemy standing in the way of dubious American hegemonic ambitions.
In short, American imperialism is not a negotiating philosophy. It does not know nor wants to know the meaning of multilateralism. American power is predicated on domination, with zero tolerance of any independence shown by others. Russia in particular.
Aiding and abetting a deranged, anti-Russian regime in Kiev which exalts Nazi partisans from the Second World War is a sobering indication of Washington’s real and sinister agenda towards Moscow.
Donald J Trump may have been an agreeable summit attendee in Helsinki. But the property-tycoon-turned-president is not the real deal.