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Saturday, August 12, 2006

More Dismal Russian Failure in Foreign Policy

In classic Russian style, not only did the country not get what it wanted (so much for Russia's alleged surging influence) in trying to be a factor in the Israeli Lebanon incursion, but it alienated the whole world in the process.

Reuters reports:

NEW YORK, 11 August (IRIN) - In an effort to push the parties working on the current United Nations Security Council draft on Lebanon to come to a conclusion, Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin emerged from a meeting at the British mission Thursday evening to announce a Russian-proposed 72-hour humanitarian truce. Churkin told reporters that the draft resolution would be put in 'blue' - council-speak for ready to be voted on - "calling for an immediate and full cessation of hostilities of all the parties for 72 hours, calling for proper humanitarian efforts and, quite importantly, calling for extraordinary diplomatic efforts". The Russians put forth this new draft, citing that this could help combat the dire humanitarian situation by transporting supplies to those in need and at the same time pushing council members and other involved parties to act. "We seem to be very close, but we have been close for a while now," said Churkin. "We are concerned that if we talk in this regular mode, we will not arrive for a long time at an outcome, and people will continue to be killed and the war will continue to be fought. "War is raging in Lebanon and the humanitarian situation is getting catastrophic… [Russia] came to the conclusion that we do not have an immediate process to this resolution being accomplished," he said, but indicated that it was not their intention to "compete" with the current France-US draft currently being discussed. He hoped the France-US draft would be voted on soon. US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton was not entirely happy when he left Thursday evening's permanent five (P-5) meeting, which included France, UK, Russia and China, all veto-holding members. "I don't think it is helpful to divert attention in seeking to get a permanent, sustainable solution, as we have been seeking," said Bolton, indicating that talks were still continuing on the current French-US draft. "We're not playing games here. This is very serious…I think we've got a realistic prospect for success," he added. Churkin told reporters that there were no objections to the Russian humanitarian resolution and he hoped that council members, after reviewing the draft on Thursday night, would become co-sponsors on Friday.

Israel then summarily and instantly rejected the proposal from the country that is supplying its enemies with weapons and financial aid, and Russia was forced to eat crow and accept the French-American version. Churkin's statement at the end, either grossly dishonest or incompetent (maybe both) eerily echoed the statements of Mr. Kudrin in the lead-up to the G-8 in Piter, where he said that Russia's admission to the WTO was a done deal. This is classic ham-handed Neo-Soviet "diplomacy" at its most pathetic.

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