Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is keen to speak on foreign policy issues, most recently giving a short speech to the Russian diplomatic corps on a number of important new elements. He has spoken about Russia’s most interesting and nasty opponents, the United States, NATO alliances and one of their clients, Ukraine. Moscow Timeson Dmitry Trenyin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center. Putin said recent warnings have had some effect, but tensions have risen, which he says opponents want to maintain, despite the fact that Russia does not need further conflicts.
Putin did not really need diplomatic warnings, because as far as Ukraine is concerned, the Russians have completely frozen all diplomatic activity. The Kremlin has completely described Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as having nothing to negotiate with and sees that in the Minsk peace process, the situation in the Donbass region ruled by pro-Russian separatists should be settled, European countries were completely in favor of the Ukrainians. So you have nothing to talk to them. Victoria Nuland, the Secretary of State for the U.S. State Department who has been in talks with the Russians recently, has been unable to understand anything from Washington’s point of view in Moscow.
Thus, instead of diplomacy, the Russian president communicates in the language of the fort demonstrations. At the beginning of the year, the Russian army held a large military exercise, and its units marched along the entire length of the Ukrainian border. This was even deliberately done spectacularly, saying that in practice it could change into something else at any time. This message was received in the U.S., best evidenced by the fact that U.S. and Russian military leaders consulted at the top level on the situation, followed by a meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Putin in Geneva.
two parties are worth their money
In recent weeks, another Russian military march has begun on the Ukrainian border, but this has been preceded by unfriendly gestures on both sides. In the summer, a British destroyer stabbed the Russian Navy by passing through the territorial waters surrounding the Crimea. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian parliament has passed a resolution stating that Russians do not belong to Ukraine’s indigenous ethnic groups. This is seen in Moscow as Kiev formally abandoning the fundamentals of the Minsk peace process.
In Donbass, the Ukrainian army destroyed a tarack cannon firing from there with a Turkish-made drone, NATO confirmed it in the Black Sea, and U.S. strategic bombers Putin claimed to have patrolled the Russian border for 20 kilometers. The surge in European gas prices was immediately described in the West as a Russian craft to force a license to operate the North Stream 2 gas pipeline, and the artificial refugee crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border is partly blamed for Putin’s intrigue. With this, the Kremlin sees that the peaceful spirit of the two presidents ’meeting in Geneva has dissipated.
Of course, the Russian side should not be feared either. For example, half a million people who have just become Russian citizens in the Donbass region have been allowed to run in the September parliamentary elections in Russia. made it legal for companies there to embark on Russian government procurement tenders, eventually halting Donbass coal exports to Ukraine. In other words, the region is treated as a Russian region.
The wind of war
The story now holds that there is a fear of a Russian invasion in Ukraine. U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has warned Moscow not to do what it did in 2014, when the Crimea was annexed from Ukraine and talks with Russian-friendly separatists tore the country southeast. If they did, they would regret it. However, the stakes are much higher now than they were a good seven years ago, according to a Moscow Times article writer
We do not know whether Putin sees Ukraine as a kind of abandoned case that he should end and then his current presidency expires, that is, whether he wants to chain the country back to Russia or just bluffs to achieve essentially the same goal.
One thing is for sure: Moscow would not allow Ukraine to become a kind of unsinkable aircraft carrier near the Russian border, just as Washington did not tolerate an island near the US as the sinking of the Soviets during the 1963 Cuban crisis. The other option, which the Russians would not look at idle, would be a massive Ukrainian attack to reclaim Donbass.
Putin called Western countries unreliable in front of diplomats, saying they would only pretend to accept the red lines of the Russians like the two mentioned earlier. Because he doesn’t trust everything to chance: he managed to lead his hard-working speech with his American colleague, his national security adviser, which could end with another Biden-Putin meeting.
The threat, in this case the Russian military demonstration, works if it is credible, that is, the opponent believes he can follow the sword blast. Thus, any attempt to test that a threatening party is just bluffing, any move that indicates that the threatened party does not take the warning seriously, and possibly take a solution that irritates their opponent, could end in disaster.