Talks with Ukraine fail, situation grows threatening

Talks between NATO, the United States and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe OSCE in Brussels on the crisis in Ukraine have yielded little results. It is feared that the situation will degenerate. “It looks like we are heading towards some kind of military operation,” says defense specialist Dick Zandee of the Clingendael Institute.

Ukrainian soldier at the front in AvdiivkaANP / AFP / Anatolii Stéphanov

According to Zandee, the talks added nothing, he wonders what the Russian tactic was: increase the pressure? Was the implementation of unrealistic demands a premeditated plan of the Russians? Zandee says that given Russia’s response after the talks, the situation is not moving in the direction of de-escalation. “It is extremely disturbing.”

Talk like the best result

The best outcome of the consultation was that the two sides would continue to talk, which in itself has a de-escalating effect, “but it doesn’t appear to be. We are going the other way, it was not planned, there is a doubt about the Russian tactics, they do not seem to want to negotiate. “According to the defense specialist, what will happen? Zandee excludes nothing: green men (Russian soldiers disguised as insurgents, editor’s note) as they appeared in Crimea in 2014, to a real Russian military invasion. “But this has international consequences. The Americans have prepared a huge package sanctions, but other countries will also wonder: what is it? The whole world will have to take a stand when Russia invades another country.

“Looks like we’re going on some kind of military action.”

Apart from the sanctions – which are not light according to Zandee – there is little the West can do in the event of armed conflict. Ukraine is not a NATO country and Biden will not let Americans die for eastern Ukraine. “No American is going to die for the Donbaz, the sanctions are not soft, maybe the Baltic States and Poland will be strengthened. It’s hard to do anything about Ukraine itself except arms supplies and advice.

Nord Stream

A Republican proposal to impose sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline failed in the US Senate. It took 60 votes to pass the bill, but the number of senators who backed Tory Ted Cruz’s plan remained stuck at 55.

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which connects Russia to Germany, has long been controversial. The Americans fear that Russia will strengthen its grip on Europe with the infrastructure project. The United States is also concerned about the consequences for Ukraine. This country is still making money from the transit of gas through other Russian gas pipelines that cross Ukrainian territory, but because Nord Stream 2 goes through the Baltic Sea, the neighboring country is missing this income.

The White House supports a Democratic proposal for possible sanctions against Nord Stream 2, which will only take effect if tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalate. It is not yet known when the Senate will vote on this proposal.

Ukrainian ministries hacked

The websites of several Ukrainian ministries were hacked on Friday. Visitors to the websites of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, among others, will see a message in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish indicating that the personal data of all Ukrainian citizens has been erased from the authorities’ computers and that they will be made public created.

It is not known who is behind the attacks. The message ends with the enigmatic declaration that it is a question of revenge on “Volynia, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, the Ukrainian Resistance Army, Galicia, Polesia and historic countries”. Volynia, Galicia and Polesia are border regions between Ukraine, Poland, Belarus and Russia. The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the resulting Ukrainian Resistance Army were right-wing organizations before and during WWII.

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