The Americans and the Atlantic Alliance simultaneously issued two separate letters to the Russians requesting a written response to the draft agreements they had sent to the West.
On the same day on Wednesday, Washington said it expected a possible offensive by Russian forces “in mid-February,” while a meeting of Russian and Ukrainian ambassadors on the ongoing conflict in Paris and eastern Ukraine led to a rare joint commitment. Defend the ceasefire.
US Secretary of State Wendy Sherman has said that Russian President Vladimir Putin will “use military force at some point, perhaps now and by mid-February”. To avoid hurting Chinese President Xi Jinping during this important event for China, he pointed out that the start of the Beijing Olympics on February 4 could affect “its schedule”.
Tensions have been steadily rising in recent months, with Moscow accusing the West of stationing more than 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border for a possible offensive. Russia, for its part, is demanding guarantees of its security, including the rejection of NATO membership in this country.
The Americans and the Atlantic Alliance on Wednesday issued two separate letters to the Russians requesting a written response to draft agreements sent to Westerners in mid-December.
However he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat American diplomacy. In other words, there is no question of formally promising that Ukraine will never be allowed to join the coalition.
The foreign secretary reiterated Western warnings of unprecedented retaliation against Russia in the event of an invasion of a neighboring country.
However he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat Russia’s ambitions, and said he was ready to talk to Russia’s envoy “Sergei Lavrov” in the coming days.
The US government is proposing to resume formal negotiations on “arms control” and to discuss “mutual transparency measures” on “military postures” and “military exercises” in Europe.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg summed up, “We are approaching Russia to resume the course of a dialogue (…) but we are preparing for the worst.
Will Russia take this outstretched hand or see its rejection of its key demands as a case in point?
“This is an arbitral tribunal, it will be run by Putin,” said Mary Dumoulin, of the European Council’s think tank. “Even within the Russian system, no one knows which way the decision will go.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Khrushchev told Interfax that Russian diplomacy would now “examine” the Western response, noting that the opposition camp had “taken almost a month and a half to analyze Moscow’s demands.”
At the same time as this important move, the Russian and Ukrainian negotiators met with the French and German mediators in Paris, confirming in a joint statement the “unconditional respect for ceasefire” between the Ukrainian forces and the pro-Russian separatists in the East. Ukraine has promised to meet again in “Berlin in two weeks”.
Russian Special Envoy Dmitry Kozak has described the talks as “not easy” and expects “results” in February. Ukrainian negotiator Andriï Yermak hailed it as “the first significant document we have agreed on since December 2019”.
Ahead of a scheduled interview on Friday between French President Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin, France hailed the “good signal” of “re-engagement” from the Russians, despite “tough conditions”.
“The Way of War”
In a bid to strengthen the sense of possible immediate explosion, Washington on Wednesday urged its citizens in Ukraine to “consider leaving now” so as not to get caught up in a conflict zone.
Condemning the impending Western “hysteria” of Russian military intervention in Ukraine, Sergei Lavrov promised a “necessary retaliation” if the West continued on this “militant path.”
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