Common Grounds

Our Friday News Analysis | In Search of a Nation's Soul (Part 27)

March 24, 2023


Has the World Gone Mad?

Our Friday News Analysis | In Search of a Nation's Soul (Part 27)

The World Wants Multipolarity – a Balance of Power – Not One Global Policeman.



The Hague, 24 March 2023 | If you know of any story that is decisive, tell the world. We're still searching.


While China brokers peace, the West pretends peace is at hand by defeating Russia. What are the clowns in Brussels and the stooges in Washington, DC smoking?




Clare Daly, Member European Parliament, Ireland:


The European Union (EU) obediently serves US interests while toying with fantasies of global power. No one else is fooled.

  • Stop Playing Wargames
  • Stop Alienating Trading Partners
  • Stop Interfering in Third Countries
  • Stop Robbing the Global South
  • Stand Up for International Law

Click Here to Watch the 1.17 Minute Video



What is the Side of the Story that is Not Yet Decisive? Edited by Abraham A. van Kempen


Member state claims EU ‘delusional’ in the push to ‘decouple’ from Russia

Austria's Alexander Schallenberg was defending Raiffeisen Bank over its business in Europe's largest country


© Getty Images/Sylvain Sonnet


Source: RT
22 March 2023


On Wednesday, Austria's foreign minister told Reuters that Russia will always remain important to the European Union. Alexander Schallenberg was responding to questions about Raiffeisen Bank’s continued operations in the sanctioned country.


The diplomat commented after the US government launched a probe into the Austrian lender over its dealings in Russia last month.


Let’s get real,” he said.


91% of Western companies are still in Russia and doing what is sensible: waiting, containment, ring-fencing.


Raiffeisen Bank International is Austria’s second-largest lender and, despite sanctions, still plays a critical role in the Russian economy. It’s one of only two foreign banks on the Russian central bank’s list of 13 systemically important credit institutions. The other is UniCredit, a pan-European commercial bank.


READ MORE: EU country ramps up Russian gas imports – data


               “To think that there won’t be Russia anymore and we can decouple in all areas is delusional,” Schallenberg told Reuters, adding that while Austria would loosen ties, this “can’t happen overnight.”


Schallenberg also discouraged the EU from introducing further sanctions against Russia.


               “It is a very blunt weapon,” he said.


               “We’ve had massive sanctions packages. Give them time to work.”



Multiple agreements crown historic Putin-Xi meeting

Deals between Russia and China aim to promote trade and multipolarity



Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin after signing a joint statement on deepening comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. © Sputnik/Vladimir Astapkovich


Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese guest Xi Jinping have signed more than a dozen documents on increased cooperation in fields ranging from trade and industry to science and the military. The two leaders also touched on the prospects for peace in Ukraine.


               “This is an example of how world powers, who are permanent members of the UN Security Council and have a special responsibility for maintaining stability and security on the planet, should interact,” Putin said at the ceremonial dinner following the hours-long talks at the highest level in the Kremlin.


As part of his toast, the Russian president quoted from the ‘I Ching’ (‘The Book of Changes’) that Russian and Chinese people have a “common soul” and can overcome any obstacle with joint strength.


Speaking to reporters after the talks, Putin said that relations between China and Russia were “at their highest point in history” and that trade and economic cooperation was the priority of both governments.


Continue Reading: ‘Multiple agreements crown historic Putin-Xi meeting,’ Russia Today, 20 March 2023


China’s Xi calls for ‘rational way’ out of Ukraine conflict

On his way to Moscow, China’s president is trying to cast Beijing as a peacemaker after more than a year of war.


Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for
a ‘rational way’ out of the Ukraine crisis but has
acknowledged it would not be easy to reach a solution.


In the Russian newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta, a daily published by the Russian government, Xi said discussions could be based on China’s 12-point proposal for a political settlement published last month.


               “The document serves as a constructive factor in neutralizing the consequences of the crisis and promoting a political settlement,” Xi wrote, according to a Reuters translation of the article.


               “Complex problems do not have simple solutions.”


Xi added that the paper reflected “as much as possible” the views of the global community.

Read: ‘Five (5) Reasons Why Much of the Global South Isn't Automatically Supporting the West in Ukraine,’ by Krishen Mehta, Eurasia Review, 24 February 2023.


Xi’s visit to Moscow is his first since Putin sent Russian troops into Ukraine in February 2022, with Beijing casting itself as a neutral party even after it reaffirmed its close ties with its northern neighbor. The Chinese president will be the first world leader to meet Putin since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against him last week.


The full text of China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis is published on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.


1. Respecting the sovereignty of all countries. Universally recognized international law, including the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, must be strictly observed. All countries' authority, independence, and territorial integrity must be effectively upheld. All countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community. All parties should jointly uphold international relations' basic norms and defend global fairness and justice. Equal and uniform application of international law should be promoted, while double standards must be rejected.


2. Abandoning the Cold War mentality. The security of a country should not be pursued at the expense of others. The security of a region should not be achieved by strengthening or expanding military blocs. All countries' legitimate security interests and concerns must be addressed seriously and appropriately. There is no simple solution to a complex issue. All parties should, following the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security and bearing in mind the long-term peace and stability of the world, help forge a balanced, effective, and sustainable European security architecture. All parties should oppose pursuing one’s security at the cost of others’ security, prevent bloc confrontation, and work together for peace and stability on the Eurasian Continent.


3. Ceasing hostilities. Conflict and war benefit no one. All parties must stay rational, exercise restraint, avoid fanning the flames and aggravating tensions, and prevent the crisis from deteriorating or spiraling out of control. All parties should support Russia and Ukraine in working in the same direction and resuming direct dialogue as quickly as possible to gradually de-escalate the situation and reach a comprehensive ceasefire.


4. Resuming peace talks. Dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis. All efforts conducive to the peaceful crisis settlement must be encouraged and supported. The international community should stay committed to the right approach of promoting talks for peace, helping parties to the conflict open the door to a political settlement as soon as possible, and creating conditions and platforms for the resumption of negotiation. China will continue to play a constructive role in this regard.


5. Resolving the humanitarian crisis. All measures conducive to easing the humanitarian crisis must be encouraged and supported. Humanitarian operations should follow the principles of neutrality and impartiality, and humanitarian issues should not be politicized. The safety of civilians must be effectively protected, and humanitarian corridors should be set up to evacuate civilians from conflict zones. Efforts are needed to increase humanitarian assistance to relevant areas, improve humanitarian conditions, and provide rapid, safe, and unimpeded humanitarian access, to prevent a humanitarian crisis on a larger scale. The UN should be supported in coordinating in channeling humanitarian aid to conflict zones.


6. Protecting civilians and prisoners of war (POWs). Parties to the conflict should strictly abide by international humanitarian law, avoid attacking civilians or civilian facilities, protect women, children, and other victims of the conflict, and respect the fundamental rights of POWs. China supports the exchange of POWs between Russia and Ukraine and calls on all parties to create more favorable conditions for this purpose.


7. Keeping nuclear power plants safe. China opposes armed attacks against nuclear power plants or other peaceful nuclear facilities and calls on all parties to comply with international law, including the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS), and firmly avoid man-made nuclear accidents. China supports the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in playing a constructive role in promoting the safety and security of peaceful nuclear facilities.


8. Reducing strategic risks. Nuclear weapons must not be used, and nuclear wars must not be fought. The threat or use of nuclear weapons should be opposed. Nuclear proliferation must be prevented, and the nuclear crisis avoided. China opposes any country's research, development, and use of chemical and biological weapons under any circumstances.


9. Facilitating grain exports. All parties need to implement the Black Sea Grain Initiative signed by Russia, Türkiye, Ukraine, and the UN fully and effectively in a balanced manner and support the UN in playing an essential role in this regard. The cooperation initiative on global food security proposed by China provides a feasible solution to the global food crisis.


10. Stopping unilateral sanctions. Unilateral sanctions and maximum pressure cannot solve the issue; they only create new problems. China opposes unilateral sanctions unauthorized by the UN Security Council. Relevant countries should stop abusing unilateral sanctions and “long-arm jurisdiction” against other countries to do their share in de-escalating the Ukraine crisis and create conditions for developing countries to grow their economies and better the lives of their people.


11. Keeping industrial and supply chains stable. All parties should earnestly maintain the existing world economic system and oppose using the world economy as a tool or weapon for political purposes. Joint efforts are needed to mitigate the spillovers of the crisis and prevent it from disrupting international cooperation in energy, finance, food trade, and transportation and undermining global economic recovery.


12. Promoting post-conflict reconstruction. The international community needs to take measures to support post-conflict reconstruction in conflict zones. China stands ready to provide assistance and play a constructive role in this endeavor.



China’s Xi in Moscow for state visit with Putin | Al Jazeera Newsfeed



Watch the VIDEO HERE 



Putin says ready to discuss China’s Ukraine plan at Xi talks

Chinese leader Xi Jinping visits Moscow days after the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Al Jazeera
20 Mar 2023


Russian President Vladimir Putin has warmly welcomed Chinese leader Xi Jinping on a state visit to the Kremlin, sending a message to Western leaders that their efforts to isolate Moscow over its war in Ukraine have fallen short.


Xi’s trip – his first abroad since his re-election earlier this month – began on Monday and showed Beijing’s new diplomatic swagger.


It also gave a political lift to Putin just days after an international arrest warrant was issued for the Kremlin leader on war crimes charges related to Ukraine.


The Chinese leader has been trying to portray Beijing as a potential peacemaker in Ukraine, even as he deepens economic ties with Moscow.


When they met in the Kremlin, Putin and Xi greeted one another as ‘dear friend.’ Russian state news agencies later reported they held informal talks for nearly four and a half hours on Monday, with further official talks scheduled for Tuesday.


In televised comments after they greeted each other, Putin told Xi he viewed China’s proposals for a resolution of the Ukraine war with respect.


Continue Reading: ‘Chinese leader Xi Jinping visits Moscow days after the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.’ Al Jazeera, 20 March 2021.



Scott Ritter: Ukraine TRAPPED In Russian Crossfire



Watch the VIDEO HERE 

               Scott Ritter joins Stephen Gardner in this exclusive interview to discuss 1) Russia Ukraine war, 2) the conflict of Bakhmut, 3) the bad feelings between Putin and Zelenskyy, and 4) how this war will end.


               Russia rained down over 80 missiles on Ukraine last night after figuring out how to bypass their air defense systems.


               Scott Ritter and Stephen Gardner also discuss the military predictions of Colonel Douglas Macgregor on how this war will end and Putin's next military moves.



  • 0:55 Heavy Missile Attack On Ukraine.
  • 9:10 Russia figures out how to bypass Ukraine's air defense missiles. Hits with 80+ missiles, including hypersonic missiles.
  • 10:40 Putin's next military move.
  • 16:30 Stephen shares his position on this war.
  • 26:00 A secret in Ukraine even the media has worked to bury
  • 28:00 Ukraine will collapse, and here's why
  • 29:00 Why Putin attacked Ukraine




Xi to Putin: ‘Changes are coming that haven’t happened in 100 years.’


Chinese President Xi Jinping exchanged warm words with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a reception when the two leaders met in the Kremlin on Tuesday. The two leaders both praised the strengthening political trust and enhanced cooperation between the two nations, a relationship Putin said could serve as ‘an example of how world powers… should work together.’ ‘Russian-Chinese relations are at an all-time high,’ Putin added.


On the talks' outcome, Putin said they were ‘highly effective’ while Xi said ‘China-Russia relations are growing stronger and stronger.’


Changes are coming that haven’t happened in 100 years,’ concluded Xi.


Read more: ‘Updating My Munich Predictions,’ by George Soros, Project Syndicate (A George Soros Publication), 16 March 2023.

               “Putin is desperate for a ceasefire but does not want to admit it. Chinese President Xi Jinping is in the same boat. But US President Joe Biden is unlikely to jump at this seeming opportunity to negotiate a ceasefire because he has pledged that the US will not negotiate behind Zelensky’s back.”


Read more: ‘Putin and Xi Are Making the War in Ukraine a Global Contest,’ by Judy DempseyCarnegie Europe, 23 March 2023.


               “The outcome of Russia’s war on Ukraine will determine who sets the political and economic rules for the coming decades. At stake is the rules-based international order.


               Ron DeSantis is off target. The Republican governor of Florida, who has had presidential ambitions recently, said the war in Ukraine was not in America’s vital interests. In his view, what was taking place was a territorial dispute.


               The three-day state visit by Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping to Moscow showed the contrary. The outcome of Russia’s brutal war concerns the future of the post-Cold War international order—and America’s role in shaping it.”


Read more: ‘How the Ukraine War Could End in Peace,’ by Harold James, Project Syndicate (A George Soros Publication), 2 March 2023.


               “More than a year after Russia invades Ukraine, a stable peace remains more likely than many commentators seem to believe. In fact, not only could Russia end the war, but there are steps that the Europeans and Americans can take to make that outcome more likely.


               After nine years of war – and one year of intensified fighting following Russia’s full-scale invasion – Ukraine’s future remains murky. In the West, the current debate is focused mainly on weapons shipments to Ukraine. Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States have agreed to supply modern tanks they had previously withheld. Still, now Ukraine is also asking for longer-range missiles and fighter jets.


               There is no consensus. Some fear that supplying jets and other weapons with an offensive capacity could risk escalation or provoke a nuclear response from the Kremlin; others, accountable to former US President Donald Trump’s brand of nativist isolationism, question why Western taxpayers should pay for Ukraine’s defense. As these debates grow more divisive, those who believe the war must be fought must also start thinking about how it could and should end.


Will this be another endless war, or might it end in a frozen conflict with a demilitarized zone or a genuine, stable peace?


Editor's Note |

Will this nightmare ever end? For some, NEVER!

Please consider joining the Building the Bridge Foundation, The Hague,
in urging the United States and the European Union to stop abusing the people of Ukraine
to serve as cannon fodder and human shields.

The more firepower, the more bloodshed.


Is there any other alternative than Peace?


The clowns in Brussels and their stooges in Washington, DC, have only one choice.



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The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of the Building the Bridge Foundation, The Hague.


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