Putin's house of cards

Author : Volodymyr Zemlianyi

Source : 112 Ukraine

Putin's statement about the dispute with Japan on Kuril islands issue looks like a political bargaining
16:59, 9 September 2016

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Russia Japan

Vladimir Putin has made everyone tired by his presence in world politics. He tries to find some ridiculous justifications, like a schoolboy that has not prepared his homework; he is a card sharpie, who bluffs and juggles the cards, no one is interested in his lies. Everyone can see the naked king, but Putin himself thinks that he is a respectable world leader.

Related: Prime Minister of Japan called on Putin to put an end to dispute about Kuril Islands

A couple of years ago, Putin's statement that Russia and Japan can find a compromise on the dispute over the Kuril Islands, would become the world's political sensation. He said this in his interview with Bloomberg, the news agencies cited him with the reference to the Kremlin press service. It was strategically right time for such a statement, just before G20 and during the Eastern economic forum in Vladivostok (Russia). The two leaders decided that they would continue to work on the problem of the Kuril Islands, and the two sides will consider it in December, during a planned meeting in Tokyo.

However, despite the significance of the statement concerning the future of Russia and Japan, Putin’s statement did not become №1 sensation. The issue of possible "Kuril breakthrough" has not been discussed by G20 leaders. Politics and card games have the same principle: observe the rules of the game. No one negotiates with the gamblers.

Related: Russian delegation left OSCE Parliamentary Assembly session due to resolutions on Crimea, Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Vladimir Putin revealed the mechanism of settlement of the dispute with China over Tarabarov island on the Amur river: "We did not give anything, it was the questionable territory, and the negotiations lasted for 40 years.  For 40 years old have we been trying to find compromise with China. Part of the territory was permanently assigned to Russia, and the other part of the territory was permanently assigned to the Chinese People's Republic."

Now let us apply this logics to the situation with Crimea. This peninsula has never been a disputed territory, Russia has always recognized its Ukrainian, signing the relevant international treaties and obligations. Well, after a long amnesia, Putin decided that Crimea belongs to Russia. But no one negotiated on the issue. It was a treacherous armed attack.

Related: Putin: Russia will not give Crimea back

Leading politicians have long understood that Putin plays by its own rules, inventing and changing them during the game. He picks them to a situation, as a thief selects the master keys to other people's houses. Russia has already approached the resolution of territorial disputes with Japan during the presidency of Boris Yeltsin. Would this happen this time?

Russia "does not trade territories," world news agencies quoted. Let us forget about Alaska. Bloomberg reporter jokingly asked Putin whether Russia wants to give back Kaliningrad, and heard a serious answer in response. Say, attempts to revise the results of World War II is opening a Pandora's box and may lead to unpredictable consequences. Indeed? And what about Crimea, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and redrawing Russian borderline, neglecting the results of the Second World War?

Related: The return of Crimea as a historical inevitability

Putin's statement about the dispute with Japan looks like a political bargaining. Say, we will give back Japanese the territories captures during World War II, but Crimea is Russia though.  Russia could even find a formula for solving the "Kuril problem," because the roots of this issue were not provoked by Putin. In this regard, turning back Crimea means admitting the frivolous folly, which for a serious politician is tantamount to suicide. But if Putin does not turn back Crimea, Russia will occur on the verge of self-destruction, with almost the same consequences for Putin.

Related: Crimea is Ukraine: top 10 map bloopers

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