Europeans want diplomatic exit; Russia sees split

Several critical voices are raised to denounce the alarmist and destabilizing position of the United States in the crisis involving Russia and Ukraine. Last night, an American cargo plane landed in Kiev, delivering several dozen Javelin anti-tank missiles to the Ukrainian army. In this context, Europeans, and France in particular, are trying to gain space in the de-escalation process between Americans and Russians.

Diplomatic advisers from Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France started a meeting this afternoon at the Élysée Palace in Paris, with the aim of easing the crisis on Ukraine’s borders and preparing the conversation scheduled for Friday (28) between French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone.

French and European diplomats are particularly irritated by US maneuvers in Ukraine. In Paris and other foreign offices, they are having trouble digesting the decision, which they see as premature, by the Americans, British and Australians to evacuate their diplomatic personnel from Kiev, while the preventive mobilization of 8,500 American troops could still add fuel to the fire before a new one. crucial meeting scheduled for Friday in Geneva, at which the United States must provide written responses to Russia’s security demands. This negotiation front takes place within the scope of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

In Moscow, it’s hard to take Europeans seriously. On the website of an independent television channel, the Franco-German initiative to convene a dialogue at the Élysée Palace is analyzed as a sign of division among NATO members.

Yesterday, after meeting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, Macron warned that Russia would “pay” dearly if it invaded Ukraine. Despite the threatening tone, the goal of most European leaders is to resolve the crisis through diplomatic channels. But the only interlocutor that the Kremlin really cares about is the United States. Putin seeks in this crisis that his country, economically weakened, continues to be recognized as a great power.

Europe has much more to lose than the United States in its confrontation with Russia. It would be much more complicated to apply sanctions against Moscow, which is a neighbor, than against an adversary that is halfway around the world. Russia today considered the idea mentioned by the US government to punish Vladimir Putin as “destructive” if he chooses a warlike outcome.

Russians don’t want armed conflict

The Russians are not interested in an armed conflict: despite the fact that the media, mainly state-owned, often evoke a possible invasion of Ukraine, to prevent the former Soviet republic from joining NATO, only 39% of the Russian population believe that a war is imminent. , according to the latest opinion poll published in the country.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that Moscow would take appropriate action if the United States and NATO did not respond to requests for assurances about the non-expansion of the Western military alliance to the former Soviet republics.

While negotiation rounds continue without any progress, Russian warships entered the Barents Sea today for military exercises aimed at protecting an important shipping lane in the Arctic Ocean. Moscow had already announced last week that it would carry out these maneuvers, but they come at a time when Western countries are following all the Kremlin’s decisions with concern.

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