1) Nicola Sturgeon, “Britain’s failure to tackle Russian dirty money has enabled Putin’s aggression; If Boris Johnson is serious about helping Ukraine, the most resolute action he can take is at home,” The Guardian, February 1, 2022 (16:00 GMT).
Nicola Sturgeon is first minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National party
2) Benoît Vitkine (Moscou, correspondant) et Jean-Baptiste Chastand (Vienne, correspondant régional), “Vladimir Poutine dit toujours croire à une « solution » négociée mais maintient le flou sur ses intentions; En recevant son homologue hongrois, Viktor Orban, le président russe a constaté le refus par Washington de ses « propositions de sécurité » mais laissé entendre que le dialogue se poursuivrait,” Le Monde, le 1. février 2022 (à 21h54, mis à jour à 22h14);
3) Stefanie Bolzen, “Boris Johnson macht, was Berlin nicht tun will,” Die Welt, den 1. Februar 2022.
4) Kyiv Post, “Polish and UK Leaders Pledge Solidarity with Ukraine,” Kyiv Post, February 1, 2022 (8:30 pm);
5) Dawn Clancy, “Russia and US Trade Jabs in the UN Security Council Over the Fate of Ukraine, PassBlue, January 31, 2022.
6) Majid Sattar Washington), “Stille Diplomatie und lauter Streit, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung/FAZ.net, den 1. Februar 2022 (aktualisiert um18:54);
Tripartite Security Pact between Ukraine, Poland, and Great Britain
Stefanie Bolzen reports on what could be a dramatic development: “At the same time, it was reported in Kiev (‘verlautete aus Kiew’) that Great Britain, Poland, and Ukraine are preparing a tripartite security pact.”
Zeitgleich verlautete aus Kiew, dass Großbritannien, Polen und die Ukraine einen trilateralen Sicherheitspakt vorbereiten. Das gab der ukrainische Ministerpräsident Denys Schmygal beim Besuch seines polnischen Kollegen Mateusz Morawiecki bekannt.
The Kyiv Post, in its English edition, reported:
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv for talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, at a time of heightened tensions with Russia, which has stationed well over 100,000 troops along Ukraine’s borders.
Zelensky…told the Ukrainian Parliament earlier on Tuesday that “we are creating a new format of political cooperation in Europe between Ukraine, Great Britain, Poland.”
A triparite security pact, depending on its provisions, could lead Poland to come to the defense of Ukraine if Russia invades the country. Should that then lead further to a Russian attack on Poland, the mutual defense obligation in Article 5 of the NATO Treaty could come into play, requiring all NATO members to come to the defense of Poland in repelling the Russian attack.
At that point, the world would be facing a direct nuclear confrontation between Russia, on the one hand, and the U.S., Great Britain, anf France, on the other.
Comparisons to the October, 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, under such circumstances, would be fully justified.
Historical memories in Britain and Poland
One should recall that Great Britain in the past has gone to extraordinary lengths to uphold international law and the prohibition against the illegal use of force. In the 1982 Falklands War, it sent amphibious forces 8,000 mikes to eject Argentine forces from the Falkland Islands, which they had seized in an illegal war of aggression.
Great Britain may also remember those lonely days after the German and Soviet invasions of Poland in September, 1939, and after Dunkirk, and during the Battle of Britain when Britain, like Ukraine today, stood alone.
The Poles, for their part, have deep historical memories not only of Communist rule enforced by Soviet tanks (e.g., 1956, and afterwards), but also of centuries of oppression, conquest, and division enforced by Russian armies. The resonance between’s Ukraine’s situation as Russia is poised to invade, and their own experience in September, 1939, must be great.
January 31 Security Council Meeting
The meeting of the U.N. Security Council, on January 31, constituted a welcome and very positive development. The meeting was convened at the request of the U.S. to discuss the situation on Ukraine’s borders, where over 100,000 Russian troops have assembled in apparent preparation for an invasion.
For links to the video of the meeting and the corresponding Press Release and detailed summary of the delegates’s remarks, see above, and the following:
“U.N. Security Council meets on Ukraine; U.N. Web TV provides no English interpretation in video recording for Russia, China, UAE, France, Mexico, and Gabon interventions (with links to video and Press Release),” The Trenchant Observer, January 31, 2022
The new U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, did an outstanding job in presenting the case against Russia and in defending fundamental principles of the U.N. Charter and international law. 10 members of the Council supported the holding of a public meeting, and implicitly the position of the U.S. NATO, and EU countries. Only Russia and China voted on a procedual motion not to hold the meeting. India, Kenya, and Gabon abstained.
U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who previously was largely unknown outside of Africa and the State Department, assuaged any fears that some might have had because of her previous lack of prominence on the world stage.
Her performance in this high-pressure situation was superb. Poised, persuasive in her succinct remarks, and nimble on her feet in responding to the insults of the Russian representative, she gave the impression that a new foreign policy star was being born.
The Trenchant Observer