Poland.- The United States and NATO have not yet made concessions to the main demands of Russia to resolve the Ukraine crisis, including Moscow’s guarantee that its western neighbor will never be able to join the alliance.
The focus is now on how Russia will respond, a decision that falls squarely with the president. Vladimir Putin and that could determine whether Europe will plunge back into war.
Here are things to know on Thursday about international tensions that surround Ukraine.
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How has Russia responded?
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the US response, and a similar one from NATO, leaves “little ground for optimism”.
At the same time, he added that “there are always prospects of continuing a dialogue, it’s in the interest of both us and Americans.”
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted that the US response contains some elements that could lead to the “start of a serious conversation on secondary issues.”
But Lavrov emphasized that “the document does not contain a positive answer on the main issue”, Russian demands for no expansion of NATO and el don’t deploy weapons that Russia sees as a threat.
What does Ukraine say?
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Kiev saw the US response before it was delivered on Wednesday to Russia and had no objection.
He tweeted that it is “important that The United States remains in close contact with Ukraine. before and after all contacts with Russia. There are no decisions about Ukraine without Ukraine.”
Kuleba also emphasized his country’s need to strengthen its defenses, speaking on Thursday about a visit to Denmark.
He said that Ukraine appreciates all the support it receives, but that the times demand that hard power be prioritized over soft power, citing the importance of weapons economic sanctions and a consolidated position of Ukraine’s allies.
Russia hopes for a change in Kiev
A top Putin aide, former President and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, says that a war would be catastrophic and what do you expect Ukraine choose leaders who want “normal” ties with Russia.
Medvedev, deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, said that a conflict between Russia and NATO “It would be the most dramatic and just catastrophic scenario, and I hope it never happens.”
Medvedev argued that Moscow sees no point in talking to the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, but expressed the hope that Ukrainians will eventually “get tired of such chaos and choose the leadership that will pursue policies… aimed at normal economic relations with Russia.”
Medvedev’s comment follows a British claim that the Kremlin is seeking to replace Ukraine’s government with a pro-Moscow administration, a charge Russia denies.
What do regular Ukrainians say?
Ukrainians have joined a campaign on social media under the hashtag #UkrainiansWillResist amid fears that the Russian troop buildup near the border heralds invasion plans.
Hundreds of Ukrainians at home and abroad have posted the hashtag and put a Ukrainian flag on their profile pictures on Twitter and Facebook. Participants include celebrities, journalists, activists and politicians, and the campaign is getting more popular every day.
“No one can force the Ukrainians to accept Putin’s ultimatum. There will be no ‘peace’ in Russia’s conditions,” wrote Andrii Levus, the initiator of the campaign, on his Facebook page.
He added: “Even if the West makes a deal with Putin on Ukraine and Zelenskyy will capitulate, #UkrainiansWillResist Russia to the occupiers. Welcome to hell, Mr Putin!”
What is Germany’s position?
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of GermanyAnnalena Baerbock said her government is closely coordinating its policy with its allies, and that the range of options Berlin will consider in the event of further Russian aggression includes action against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
The pipeline, which has not yet started operations, was built to pump natural gas from Russia to Germany, but the German government has gradually withdrawn from the project amid rising tensions with Moscow.
Baerbock said Thursday during a parliamentary debate on Ukraine that while Germany has refused to supply Ukraine with lethal weapons, it will continue to provide economic support to Kiev.
“A (soccer) team doesn’t need 11 centre-forwards who do the same thing, but 11 players who get along and have a common game plan in mind,” he told lawmakers.
France goes its own way
French President Emmanuel Macron continues to push for the dialogue with Russia despite the signs pointing to a possible war, convinced that diplomacy can still avoid conflict.
Macron is preparing to speak to Putin on Friday, and Macron’s presidential palace was the site of marathon talks on Wednesday between Russian and Ukrainian advisers, the first face-to-face negotiations of their kind since Russia massed troops near Ukraine in recent years. weeks.
Macron’s stance reflects France’s post-World War II tradition of forging its own geopolitical path, refusing to blindly align itself behind the US.
But France’s diplomacy-focused strategy complicates efforts by the United States and NATO to present a tough, united front against Russia. And experts wonder if it will be enough to deter a Russian invasion.
What about Turkey, a member of NATO?
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that an armed attack on Ukraine on the part of Russia would not be a “rational” move and offers to mediate between the two countries.
NATO member Turkey, which enjoys close relations with both Ukraine as with Russia, it has repeatedly said it is ready to bring together the leaders of the two countries.
“I hope that Russia do not resort to armed attack and occupation of Ukraine,” Erdogan told Turkish television NTV in an interview on Wednesday night. “Such a step would not be a rational move for Russia or for our region.”
Erdogan also said “meaningful dialogue with Russia” was necessary to resolve any “reasonable” security concerns he may have.
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