Mac the Knife

Finally, Vladimir Putin is getting in line with the EUSSR. He’s going to establish an institute in one of the European capitals that will be dedicated to monitoring human rights violations in Europe.

Ol’ Vlad could more appropriately do this at home, but you know how it is when the issue of your neighbors’ sins comes up for discussion. Their flaws are so easy to see from the outside…

According to the EU Observer:

Vladimir PutinRussian president Vladimir Putin has suggested setting up a Russian-funded institute in Brussels or another European capital to keep an eye on human rights issues in Europe.

“With the aid of grants, the EU helps develop such institutes in Russia,” Mr Putin was cited as saying by Reuters, after an EU-Russia summit on Friday (26 October).

“I think the time has come for Russia, given the growth in our financial capabilities, to make its contribution in this sphere as well”, he added.

President Putin’s personal envoy for relations with the 27-nation EU, Sergei Yastrzhembsky, explained Moscow’s intentions further.

“This is not going to be a joint venture,” Mr Yastrzhembsky said, underlining “the institute will be monitoring the situation in Europe concerning rights of ethnic minorities, immigrants, media and such”.

Reading between the lines, one gets the feeling that this is about revenge rather than vigilance…
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There was apparent confusion around the content of the Russian idea, with Portugal’s prime minister Jose Socrates saying “we received president Putin’s proposal of a Euro-Russian institute dedicated to promoting human rights in the two blocs [Europe and Russia] with satisfaction”.

Mr Socrates, as host of the event, hailed the meeting as “constructive” and said it led to “significant steps toward building a deeper relationship between the EU and Russia” but there was little agreement on substantive issues.

The two sides were unable to bridge their differences on the future status of Kosovo — the breakaway Serb province, with Russia continuing to take a pro-Serb line on the issue having earlier this year blocked a UN plan granting substantial independence for the province.

In addition, talks on a new partnership deal between the two sides were not kicked off, even though the current Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) expires at the end of this year.

And there are other pricklies between Europe and Russia:

There was also no major breakthrough in the field of energy co-operation, a contentious issue for Europe which is heavily reliant on Russia for gas and oil supplies.

Both sides agreed “to keep working to develop a mechanism for early warning on [potential problems with] supplies of energy from Russia to the EU and demand for it”, Russian president Vladimir Putin was quoted as saying by Interfax.

Vlad’s also unhappy with US plans to deploy missile shields in Poland and the Czech Republic.. He said it was analogus to what the USSR did in Cuba in the 1960’s, which led to the Cuban missile crisis.

Well as Heraclitus said, “no man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

In this case, the USSR is no more, and despite Putin’s yearnings, it can’t be resurrected. Nor is America the same entity it was during John Kennedy’s time. Now that the KGB files have been opened, the question of Russia’s involvement with Lee Harvey Oswald’s assassination of Kennedy is gaining more traction…

I love the irony of Russia wanting to supervise anyone’s human rights violations. They wrote the book on violating people.

Hat tip: White Elefant

15 thoughts on “Mac the Knife

  1. This reminds me of childhood school plays. When one goes to see a school play you know what to expect and applaud accordingly even though everyone knows it is terrible. But hey they are kids right? This appears to be the same thing.

  2. Damn but I like Mr P’s sense of humor! You have to admit that the EU countries’ own record on human rights isn’t entirely spotless. Ask the people who tried to demonstrate in Brussles last month.

  3. “I love the irony of Russia wanting to supervise anyone’s human rights violations. They wrote the book on violating people.”

    By Russia we mean KGB meat heads.

  4. Putin has a certain sense of humour, don’t you agree? The nation with a disastrous human rights record is willing to teach the rest of us how things get done.

  5. Here’s a question which also relates to the VB contraversy.

    I’ve noticed in the London Telegraph quite a few editorials strongly criticizing Vlad, and the readers’ comments are interesting. There’s very little sympathy for the paper’s stance. A large segment think the real enemy of peace and quiet in the world is the USA. But I think there’s also a sentiment out there that likes and admires Putin.

    Perhaps they see in him a strong defender of his country, and find their own leaders weak and pc=whipped in comparasion.

    Putin envy? Any Europeans here care to comment?

  6. I don’t know whether this is more funny in the sense of “weird” or funny in the sense of “ha-ha.” Why doesn’t he instead monitor human rights in Syria and Iran?

  7. “…the question of Russia’s involvement with Lee Harvey Oswald’s assassination of Kennedy is gaining more traction…”

    A couple years back, Stratfor did a piece about Oswald’s wife, Marina. Made a lot of interesting points about her- how a woman of her background could (or would) get involved with an American as quickly and deeply as she did, and then get permission to leave the USSR.

    Odd, to say the least.

    As for ol’ Vlad himself, I guess he does have a sense of humor. Think he’ll foot the bill into an investigation of the poisoning of Russian dissidents? Does that fall under the heading of human rights?

  8. simon de monfort

    What you say is almost what I titled the post.


    Your analogy with a school play is spot on. You know you have to show up, boredom descends like a cloud as soon as you sit down, and a great feeling of relief and duty discharged accompanies you to the parking lot.

    Ah, yes.

  9. LBJ certainly believed that the USSR had assassinated JFK, and he influenced the Warren Commission to make sure this wouldn’t come out, because he wanted to avoid WW3. This cover up seems to have been the main source of Kennedy conspiracy theories.

  10. “Now that the KGB files have been opened, the question of Russia’s involvement with Lee Harvey Oswald’s assassination of Kennedy is gaining more traction…

    A Letter to the Editor in the WSJ a few months ago by Ion Mihai Paceco, a former Romanian KGB agent, suggests the Soviets likely had a hand in the Kennedy assassination. He will discuss this in his book to be released this November.

  11. sg–

    I saw that. Or maybe not the same one. I saw an editorial by a former KGB member who said this. I had cut and pasted it in order to do a brief post on it but it vanished somewhere in the black hole of my “Pending Posts” file.

    Big gap between my rhetoric and the reality of the GoV page…

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