Russia and Ukraine: threats instead of de-escalation

Status: 14.01.2022 11:14

An intense week of diplomacy lurks behind Russia, the United States, Ukraine and NATO. There was hardly any reconciliation on key issues. Both Moscow and Kiev are seeing positive signs for themselves.

By Christina Nagel, ARD Studio Moscow

No breakthrough, no de-escalation. Instead, new threatening gestures: The US Senate is pondering aloud new sanctions, while in Moscow there is speculation about possible military options. Diplomats involved in the negotiations are also concerned, but surprisingly not disappointed. Which could be because the talks ended unsuccessfully, but were not seen as a failure.

And not because – contrary to what was initially feared – they weren’t completed after a very short period of time without result. On the contrary, they lasted longer than expected – and according to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov: “Very professional, deep and concrete. There was no attempt to cover up or avoid anything. the Bush.”

The Kremlin wants to keep the pressure on

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also sees the fact that this time around seemingly irreconcilable positions were calmly and objectively brought up as a positive signal. It shows, he said on a political talk show on Russian television, that Washington is considering negotiations.

For this to happen, the Kremlin should try to keep the pressure on. Also and especially at the Ukrainian border. Just as President Vladimir Putin announced in November: “Our recent warnings are heeded. And they have an effect.

Requirements on NATO

This is to signal to US leaders that Russia is seriously considering calling for a halt to NATO’s eastward expansion – not just in view of the admission of Ukraine and Georgia. , but also with a view to maneuvering and stationing troops and weapons, as the Russian representative to the OSCE, Alexander Lukachevich, stressed: “The fact that the situation is worsening is linked to the speed with which the Alliance is developing militarily countries in which offensive weapons are stationed, which very quickly can harm the security of the Russian Federation. “

The Kremlin has already rejected the call to stop the many maneuvers on the Ukrainian border. Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov also implemented other measures.

When asked if this could also mean Russian army stationing, for example in Cuba or Venezuela, he told RTVI television that he could neither confirm nor rule out such a possibility.

Ukraine takes threats seriously

In Ukraine, threats are taken seriously. In Kiev, they are pushing for new preventive sanctions – “because you cannot stop the enemy once he has crossed the threshold,” said Valery Kravchenko of the National Institute for Strategic Research on Radio Liberty Ukraine .

The fact that the United States and NATO continue to pledge their support to Ukraine and that the door to the Alliance remains open is seen as an important signal in Kiev.

Despite tense rhetoric from all sides: At the end of a long week of negotiations, there is real hope that this was just the start – for further diplomatic efforts to achieve greater security and peace in Europe.

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