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Expert: Ukraine is auxiliary lever of pressure on Russia at UNGA

U.S. will be reckoning with Russia over the situation in Syria, political analyst Pavel Klachkov has told EADaily when commenting the speeches of the Russian and U.S. presidents, Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama at the UNGA and the meeting that followed it.

Klachkov said the presidents have diametrically opposite views about the Syrian problem, considering their statements. “Obama in his rhetoric does not acknowledge President Bashar al-Assad and sees no prospects, while Putin, on the contrary, supports al-Assad and considers him a legitimate leader and the Syrian army as the only legitimate force in the territory of Syria. Putin does not recognize terrorists, does not recognize rebels, opposition. He brings specific data testifying that U.S.-trained militants have joined the terrorist organizations, ISIL. These are undisputable facts,” the expert said.

What is different about it, Klachkov said, is that any contacts, any efforts to find a common language and the fact of the presidents’ meeting that was held at the behest of the United States mean that it will be reckoning with Russia’s stand. “Maybe, it will require complicate compromises,” Klachkov said, “but it is still better than a direct confrontation. There is such hope, though a slight one. If the contacts continue, and there is a will, a compromise will be possible. At present, there is hope for a compromise, but no big optimism.”

The topic of Ukraine at the UNGA was just “auxiliary.” “Ukraine was an additional argument in the correlation of the countries’ positions. When Obama spoke about ‘annexation’ touching upon the complicated topic of Crimea, it was one of the mechanisms of pressure. For them the Syrian problem is more acute today. They perceive Ukraine as an additional chance to press Russia to get more concessions for it.  Middle East is an acute problem for everyone. There are apocalyptic sentiments around Middle East, while Ukraine plays the role of an auxiliary instrument of pressure on Russia,” Klachkov said.

Comparing the speeches of Obama and Putin, Klachkov said, “Obama appeared as a haughty, moralistic lector, tutor, who knows the truth and forces his concept on such indolent pupils as Russia, China, and Iran by rhetoric methods.”

“Meantime, Putin resembled a doctor who makes the diagnosis,” Klachkov said. “Our global organism has diseases, problems, and he reveals the reasons of the diseases and makes a diagnosis. He offers methods to resolve the situation. In the given case, he is not the only person to know the truth, but he tries to approach the painful situations practically and suggests the way of global settlement of these situations, at the same time realizing that his solutions are not easy to implement. He is a realist. Obama speaks from the Capitol Hill and tries to teach everyone his super-democracy, while Putin understands how difficult it will be to evoke response from the world, but still does it. This is what shows Putin’s commitment, I think.”

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