Sunday, May 15

Ukrainian crisis. US refuses key Moscow demand, but seeks ‘diplomatic route’

No public statement, but a few announcements… Not so new. The United States rejected this Wednesday, in its written response delivered to Russia, one of Moscow’s main demands, by refusing to close NATO’s door to Ukraine, but claim to have proposed a “serious diplomatic route” to avoid another war.

The moment of truth is therefore approaching, when threats, sounds of boots, but also glimmers of hope alternate at a frantic pace.

“We have made it clear that we are determined to maintain and defend Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the right of states to choose their own security arrangements and alliances,” the foreign minister said. American Antony Blinken to the press.

The “open door principle” for Washington

Antony Blinken noted that the US response would not be made public “because we believe diplomacy has a better chance of succeeding,” but he divulged a few points.

“Without going into the details of the document, I can tell you that it reiterates what Washington has been saying publicly for weeks and in a sense, for many years: that we defend the principle of the open door at NATO”, he specified.

More transparency to come?

“We talk about the possibility of reciprocal transparency measures with regard to our military postures as well as measures to improve confidence with regard to military exercises and maneuvers in Europe,” added Antony Blinken.

In this document, drawn up in coordination with Kiev and the Europeans, Washington also proposes to relaunch negotiations with Russia on arms control, in particular on the question of strategic missiles and nuclear weapons stationed in Europe. “The written proposals of the 30 NATO allies submitted this [jeudi Ndlr] evening in Russia cover a wide range of different issues, Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday. […] We are again reaching out to Russia to try to pursue a path of dialogue […] but we also prepared for the worst. »

A possible Russian attack in mid-February

On the same day on Wednesday, Washington said it expected a possible attack by Russian forces by “mid-February”, while in Paris a meeting of Russian and Ukrainian envoys on the ongoing conflict in the eastern Ukraine resulted in a rare joint commitment to preserve the ceasefire.

“Everything indicates” that Russian President Vladimir Putin “will use military force at some point, perhaps between now and mid-February,” said US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. She pointed out that the opening of the Beijing Olympics on February 4 could influence “its schedule”, to avoid offending Chinese President Xi Jinping during this major event for China.

Tensions have steadily risen in recent months, with Moscow being accused by the West of having deployed more than 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border for a potential offensive. Russia, for its part, demands guarantees for its security, including the rejection of this country’s membership of NATO.

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