On 21 February Russia signed a decision recognising the independence of Donbas in Ukraine. Following this, on 24 February, it started its military operation. The US, the EU and NATO, who said prior to the operation that they would support Ukraine, have sufficed with applying sanctions and condemning Russia. The Ukrainian president Volodimir Zelensky’s words,”We have been left alone,” straight after the breakout of war beg the question, “Has Ukraine been used as a pawn in the war of the global powers?” It is once again the people who are victims in this power struggle between NATO and Russia. Reactions continue pouring in from various sectors against this war, which has been defined as a new cloak for the 3rd World War. With the breakout of war tens of thousands poured out into the streets in many places, especially Russia’s capital, crying out, “No War!”
The war of the global powers
Hişyar Özsoy, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP)’s Deputy Co-chair Responsible for External Relations, spoke to Yeni Yaşam and indicated that Ukraine is where things will come to a head in the war of the global powers. Özsoy pointed out that one of the outcomes of the collapse of the Soviet Union has been NATO’s efforts at expansion in Eastern Europe, despite the promise made by the West. He said that NATO has taken every opportunity to break the promise it made in the 1990s upon the unification of east and west Berlin that “NATO will not expand”, and has taken numerous Eastern European countries into its fold.
Ukraine left to cope alone
Özsoy said that arms manufacturers in the US and the UK wanted this increase in tension, and that these powers had provoked Ukraine and were now leaving it to cope alone. He noted that Ukraine had been left to cope alone previously when there was a military coup and Russia annexed Crimea, and stated what was now happening in Donbas was a similar situation, and that it would not stop as long as Russia kept Ukraine out of NATO.
Zelensky should have known
Özsoy recalled Zelensky’s words,”We have been left alone,” but said, “He should have known. Nobody said anything when Crimea was annexed, and the sanctions were ineffective.” He said that the West had given up on Donbas, that sanctions applied to Russia would be of medium effectiveness, but that Russia was now determined because Ukraine was its last bastion in Eastern Europe.
Hard times await Turkey
Özsoy said that it was the UK that had incited the war the most, and stressed that the US and Europe had used Ukraine as a pawn to protect their regional interests. He added that Turkey had entered into a number of business collaborations in various fields with Russia in order to sell arms to Ukraine, adding, “Turkey has a certain advantage in the politics of tension between Ukraine and Russia, in which NATO is also involved, because it cherishes a policy of balance. But when the tension turned into war Turkey was forced to make a choice. On the one side was Russia from whom it had bought S-400 missiles, and on the other Ukraine, supported by NATO, of which Turkey was a member. If the war becomes more widespread and long term, NATO could force Turkey to take a position. The position that Turkey takes could bring it up against NATO. Naturally Turkey does not want this; it stated earlier that it wanted to act as mediator. But Turkey is a NATO force, and NATO has certain expectations. If Turkey somehow comes up against Russia, Russia will punish Turkey painfully both in the Caucasus and in Syria. As well as this, Russia’s potential to punish Turkey painfully is also very high in the areas of tourism, agriculture and energy.” He recalled the time when Turkey had shot down a Russian plane in 2015, and stressed that, “The embargoes on agriculture and tourism influenced Turkey to a significant degree. So much so that Erdoğan wrote a flowery letter of apology to Putin and only then did relations start to go back to normal.”
The solution is the Third Way
Özsoy emphasised that the war was a war of global powers, between NATO and Russia, and that unlike powers like NATO and Russia, the HDP prioritises the interests of the peoples living in the various places on the basis of the Third Way. He says, “We should be discussing the conditions under which the peoples in Syria, in Libya and today in Ukraine can live in peace,” stating that these problems could not be solved by conflict, but by the people living there deciding how they could live. He said that there had been criticism that the Third Way was not realistic, responding, “If this is not realistic, who believes that these wars will bring tranquility, peace and stability? Are they presenting these wars to us as realistic options? Alongside the destruction of vast swaths of landscape, people will die, cities will be demolished and scattered, in the name of what? This is what we are asking.” Özsoy emphasised that wars were being fought between global powers for dominance, but that it was the people who suffered harm, and said that the HDP were making calls for an end to this war and a return to negotiations.