On June 4, 2014 Vladimir Putin was interviewed on Radio Europe 1 and Channel TF1. Kiev’s “anti-terrorist operation” in the Donbass had been going on for two months, a Normandy Four meeting was two days away, and Poroshenko’s inauguration was three days away. The Syrian blitzkrieg and Minsk accords were a long way off.
Warning to Poroshenko: halt Kiev’s anti-terrorist operation and start negotiations with the Donbass
Poroshenko, who as yet had no blood on his hands, had a unique chance to halt the punitive operation and start a dialogue with the people of southeastern Ukraine.
The interview took place on June 4, 2014, almost three months before the defeat of Ukrainian troops near the city of Ilovaisk and eight months before the Debaltsevo disaster. Unfortunately, Poroshenko didn’t seize the chance, and as a result, the Minsk Accords in which the global community ordered Ukraine to begin a direct dialogue with the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, were signed in February 2015.
Warning to NATO:
Russia has a modern, efficient military, and we plan to rearm it based on advanced technology, reducing quantity and improving quality. Our rearmament program was not adopted yesterday, or in response to the Ukrainian crisis, and we will continue to implement it.
NATO and the Pentagon ignored Putin’s words spoken more than a year before the Russian Air Force came to Syria. Now they’re probably sorry.
Warning to Europe: Expect Terrorist Attacks
We are mostly worried that a wrong action could turn Syria into another Afghanistan, an uncontrollable spawning ground for terrorists, and all the terrorists operating there now would move to other countries, including in Europe.
Europe neglected this warning. Watching the video the interviewers appear to dismiss Putin’s warning.
Warning to the USA: We Will Come To Syria
We very much fear that Syria will follow in the footsteps of Iraq or Afghanistan. That’s why we would like the legal authority to remain in Syria, to cooperate with the government and our partners in Europe and the United States while considering how to modernize the regime and make Syrian society more viable.
On June 4, 2014 no one understood that Putin was broadcasting his plan to the world. Neither the USA, nor Europe took the warning seriously. However Putin’s words, “the Syrian people will decide on the future of Syria themselves” are quoted almost word for word in the United Nations Security Council resolution 2254 (2015) adopted on December 18, 2015, more than a year and a half after the meeting with the journalists of Europe 1 and TF1. He also announced joint moves with the USA beforehand, and the start of the ceasefire was announced in the US – Russia Joint Statement on February 22, 2015.
The conclusion is simple: world leaders need to listen attentively to the Russian President from now on, preferably, with a laptop, so they can take notes. Then they need to learn several paragraphs by heart, even if their meaning is not clear.
If they do, the world will probably become a safer place.
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