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Ekaterina Blinova
Ekaterina Blinova
Ekaterina Blinova is a freelance journalist and has been a Sputnik contributor since 2014. She has a specialist's degree in history and specialises in US, European, Middle Eastern and Asian politics, international relations, sociology and high tech.

Alexander Mercouris: How Zelensky ‘Blackmails’ the US

Zelensky - Biden news
© Sputnik / Стрингер.

Ukraine has mastered the art of pulling the strings of DC policymakers and will do whatever it takes to smother any potential peace process, Alexander Mercouris, lawyer and geopolitical analyst, told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast.

Changes in the tone of the West’s press coverage of the botched Ukrainian counteroffensive suggest that the Washington foreign policy establishment has started to search for a face-saving exit from the Ukrainian debacle.

“It might all work well for the United States to start talking to the Russians, to say to the Russians, ‘we are interested in some kind of compromise’,” Alexander Mercouris, lawyer and geopolitical analyst, and cohost of the Duran podcast told Sputnik. “But getting the Ukrainians to come round is going to prove extremely difficult”.

The Kiev regime openly opposes any scenario of a ceasefire in Ukraine and is likely to derail any Western-led peace initiatives, the analyst stressed.

“I wouldn’t assess it as a high risk. I would assess it as a certainty,” Mercouris said.

“They will do everything they can to disrupt negotiations. They will take steps of that nature. They will try to goad the Russians, as they’ve always been trying to goad the Russians into extreme reactions, which they can then capitalize on to sort of build up opposition to Russia in the West. So there will definitely be trying to do things like that.

And of course, they will pull every lever that they can in the United States and Europe with people who are sympathetic to themselves. To disrupt and interfere with the negotiations. They will speak to the Green Party in Germany. They will speak to the political leaders in Britain. They will contact the authorities in Brussels. They will speak to their friends in Congress. They will do everything that they can to disrupt the process,” Mercouris emphasized.

Ukrainian Leadership Doesn’t Want Diplomatic Outcome

Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky minces no words in chastising those advocating a ceasefire in Ukraine and negotiations with Russia. Kiev regime officials believe that a ceasefire or freezing the conflict would mean only one thing – Russia’s actual victory and Vladimir Putin’s personal triumph.

Judging from Podolyak’s earlier statements, the Kiev regime desires nothing less than degrading and dismembering Russia.

“[Russia] have to come up with a different name for themselves. They have to shrink in size, they have to change their rhetoric. They have to go to court and so on. I want you and me to consciously understand what our key task is, why we cannot stop in the middle of the road, already realizing what price we are paying for the fact that today it is possible to finally resolve this issue with Russia,” Podolyak said on August 3 in a TV interview.

Per Mercouris, Kiev’s hardball approach is nothing new. The history of the Vietnam and Afghanistan wars serves as an example, where neither the government of South Vietnam nor the Ghani cabinet in Afghanistan were willing to negotiate and make compromises with their rivals. Saigon continued to oppose Washington’s peace efforts up until South Vietnam collapsed. Likewise, then-Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani continued to refuse to talk to the Taliban until the moment finally came when the militant group marched into Kabul, according to the analyst.

“That problem with Ukraine, given the mindset that exists in Ukraine, which does have support within Ukrainian society, it’s not just Podolyak and people like him who are talking like that,” Mercouris pointed out. “There are other people in Ukraine who very much take those views. It’s going to be very, very difficult to find any kind of way to get Ukraine to change, to change its stance. The one thing I would say is this: If you’re going to seek a diplomatic outcome to this war, it’s hopeless to think that you can do it by getting Russia and Ukraine to sit down and talk with each other. We came to a point last year when it seemed like that was going to happen, but it’s not going to happen from this point onwards I mean, Ukraine has said too much. It’s rhetorical stance has hardened beyond the point where negotiations are really practical,” the expert explained.

Why is Ukraine’s Dependence on the US Making DC Vulnerable?

The only possible way out, seen by the analyst, are direct talks between Washington and Moscow with regard to a peace settlement in Ukraine. Plausibly, Ukraine’s extreme dependence now on the United States and on Western powers could help Washington force the Kiev regime into accepting a peace framework agreed between Moscow and Washington.

That being said, Ukraine’s excessive dependence on the US and NATO is a double-edged sword, as the Zelensky government has reached the point when it could blackmail the United States. The United States was incredibly unwise to overcommit and overinvest in Ukraine, according to Mercouris.

“This is a very interesting point,” the analyst noted. “But again, history to some extent provides the explanation, because dependency actually can increase the leverage of the party that is apparently in that position of dependency. Because what can happen in that situation is that, of course, if the United States starts to apply pressure, if it dials back economic and military aid, then what it risks in Ukraine is an uncontrolled collapse. It’s only US military and economic aid that is keeping this thing afloat at all. So the very fact that Ukraine is so dependent on the United States gives Ukraine leverage over the United States, because the one thing the United States will not want in Ukraine is an uncontrolled collapse in Ukraine, an uncontrolled collapse which would be blamed on the administration itself.”

The Zelensky regime can play on that by reminding Washington that it has already invested too much in the Ukraine proxy war, and therefore it can’t just cut the Kiev regime off. If the US dumps Ukraine, then the Kiev regime would collapse and the blame for that would be laid at the door of the Biden administration, according to the analyst.

He noted that the same argument was used in the cases of South Vietnam and Afghanistan in the past, and Ukraine is likely to employ this rhetoric too.

“Now, of course, as in any blackmail-type situation, the victim of blackmail only becomes a victim if they let themselves be blackmailed,” Mercouris remarked. “Ultimately, the United States can simply turn off the tap. But it is not as straightforward and as simple as people think,” the analyst noted.

How Could Ukraine Blackmail the Biden Administration?

Ukraine has tools to make its political blackmail work, according to Mercouris. Since 2014, the Ukrainians have funneled extensive resources into building up a strong lobbyist network in Washington, DC.

As per the Quincy Institute, a DC-based think tank, Ukraine’s agents had done “an extraordinary amount of work” prior to Russia’s special operation which started on February 24, 2022. Particularly, in their 2021 Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) filings, firms reported engaging in 13,541 “political activities” on behalf of Ukrainians. For comparison’s sake, the Saudi lobby – named as one of the largest foreign lobbies in Washington DC – reported just 2,834 contacts in the same timeframe. According to Quincy’s study, with over 13,000 political activities reported in 2021 alone, the pro-Ukraine lobby “was able to devote considerable attention to a number of key fields that serve to shape US foreign policy and public opinion.”

“The Ukrainians have played this with a great skill,” Mercouris observed. “It has to be said. They’ve known exactly how to operate within the Washington system, and they’ve done it very effectively. And they built a very, very powerful lobby that will support Ukraine and which is in a position to transfer funds, to make arguments to lobby in exactly the kind of way you said,” he pointed out.

What should be kept in mind is that historically, not all lobbies were capable of achieving their objectives in the face of broader US geopolitical interests, the expert remarked. Thus, South Vietnam also had its lobby in DC before its collapse. Similarly, the Kuomintang, a former ruling party in Taiwan, argued passionately in the 1960s against any move by the United States to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. Nonetheless, the Nixon administration got the ball rolling on normalization with Beijing in the early 1970s, which eventually resulted in the establishment of diplomatic relations with China in 1979 under then-President Jimmy Carter.

However, currently, the world is in uncharted waters, since the stakes in the Ukraine conflict and emotions are much higher, the analyst contends.

“Any president, any administration that decides to seek a negotiated solution to the Ukraine conflict is going to know that every day there will be people appearing in the media on the talk shows, broadcasting to the American people, talking about how Ukraine is being betrayed and how the United States, how the President of the United States and his administration is engaging in appeasement and is letting Ukraine, a key ally of the United States, a heroic ally of the United States, fighting against the Russian colossus, how they are betraying it and letting it down. And that is a potent message and one which, again, It will only take a very compelling set of circumstances for an administration intent on negotiations to prevail against or even to want to take on at all,” the geopolitical expert explained.

According to Mercouris, the question is: How much stronger is this particular lobby, in a position to succeed where the previous lobbies failed?

“Of course, one can’t predict the outcome with any enormous confidence,” the expert concluded.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. The Ukraine did not figure out how to use the DC lobby process rather it was taught it by senior US back room officials while Hunter Biden played on stage with Zelensky the clown

    How many times have the USA shot themselves in the foot? I’ve lost count but I immensely enjoy each of their humiliations

    Run out of Afghanistan by radicals on mopeds and now bowing to a superior military force applying only a fraction of its power

    Go Russia.

  2. EVERYONE who read the Daily Telegraph needs to see Vinny Eastwood’s sound track titled ‘WHY YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO SAY THE ‘J’-WORD’.
    After listening to that (run time 54:43), see the Fox News Greta Sustern and Sean Hannity interviews with the late U.S. Congressman Jim Traficant, and the associated video titled ‘Israel Uses America Like A Whore!’.
    THEN…go to Dr. David Duke’s website (former U.S. Presidential candidate) on his expose of Zionism and Israeli Mossad Ops…
    READ Aleksander Solzhenytsyn’ banned book titled ‘200 Years Together’ exposing the J3wi$h destruction of Russia, the Ukraine (formerly Khazaria) and Eastern Europe in the last century.

  3. My conclusion is thus that the ukrainian lobby in Washington DC relies completely on the ( international) jewish network. Untouchable as if criticized you will be accused of anti- semitism villified and even brought to court etc.
    Probably also in Brussels and Tel Aviv.
    A pest.
    Indeed read the “trigger” by david icke and also “200 years together” by Soljenitsyne.

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