The Celtic League and the man who ‘worked’ for the FSB

There’s nothing remarkable about the Celtic League being invited to conferences. Over the decades I and others on behalf of the League have attended conferences from Skibbereen to Sinaia (Rumania). Some in humble rooms as in Ballycastle some in great conference centres as in Tripoli. We believe in Inter-Celticism, language rights and the rights to self determination and we were campaigning on the environment long before it became the cause celebre it is today.

I’ve spoken about the impact of NATO and its policies and what seemed to be back in the days of the Cold War a policy of Anglo-American Hegemony.

It was no surprise then that we got an invite a few years ago (2015) to an Anti-Globalization conference in Moscow. ‘What’s not to like’, you think, an apparently spontaneous grouping to promote the rights to self determination and end the exploitation of minorities. In this instance however there was a problem. First it looked too good to be true and secondly just months before the invite Russia had annexed Crimea and was occupying parts of Eastern Ukraine. Obviously not least because of the situation in Ireland we take a dim view of those that claim bits of other people’s countries.

Despite the conference scenario sketched out for me by the alluringly named Anastasia after consultation we declined. I wrote to the conference boss Alexander Ionov and spelled out our grounds:

I emphasised:

“The Celtic League as an organisation has always been predicated on the resolution of conflict via peaceful means“

We are an accredited NGO of the United Nations and we are firm believers in that organisation’s ability, despite the many criticisms it receives, to resolve or ameliorate global conflict. In addition, we believe non partisan regional bodies such as the Organisation for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OCSE) can aid short term suppression of violence and also enable long term solutions. That would certainly be the case in Eastern Ukraine and as both your country and Ukraine are OCSE members that avenue could be given more traction

“It is via both the United Nations and the OCSE that both the Russian Federation and Ukraine should look to resolve their current tensions and find lasting solutions and also alleviate the very real suffering that civilians caught in the conflict zone are experiencing.”

Subsequently there was a desultory exchange with the aspiring hosts but that was that.

Since that time I’ve followed the career of Alexander with interest. Despite regular protestations he’s an independent operator he tends to turn up in places where Putin has his ‘finger in the pie’ like Syria. Of course that could be coincidental.

However I never expected Alexander to excel himself and as US prosecutors put it “promote California’s secession from the United States”. but there you go. Apparently he’s in Moscow now still protesting his innocence of any scheming but I doubt he will be travelling anywhere in the US anytime soon.

As for the Celtic League we will not be attending conferences in Moscow anytime soon. However, having said that we would be unlikely to attend one sponsored by NATO. Indeed a few years ago we pulled the plug of a (then) League official attending a conference in the UK when we discovered it was sponsored in part by the British SIS!

Bernard Moffatt

AGS Celtic League (30th July 2022)

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