Ukraine, US-Russia tension does not ease. Washington: ‘It is not clear if Moscow wants a truce’. Reply: ‘Don’t make it worse’

Ukraine, US-Russia tension does not ease. Washington: ‘It is not clear if Moscow wants a truce’. Reply: ‘Don’t make it worse’
Ukraine, US-Russia tension does not ease. Washington: ‘It is not clear if Moscow wants a truce’. Reply: ‘Don’t make it worse’

The two sides talked about a “frank and direct” confrontation, but at the end of the long-awaited Geneva Summit among the delegations of United States e Russia on the new one crisis in Ukraine the statements from both sides show how much distance still exists between the two powers and how high the risk of one is still military confrontation, with approx 100 thousand soldiers of Moscow already amassed on the borders of the country of Volodymyr Zelensky.

The words of the Deputy Secretary of State are emblematic, Wendy Sherman, who, speaking precisely of Moscow’s desire to lower the tone, after the massive displacement of troops towards the western borders, and proceed with a de-escalation she just said, “I don’t think I have the answer to this question.” Russia, he added, “can demonstrate that it has no intention of invading Ukraine by returning the military located close to the border to their bases” or let us know which exercise is underway and what its purpose is. For their part, the Russian delegates stated that “there are no plans or intentions to attack Ukraine. There is no reason to be afraid of an escalation “, said the Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, adding however that the US must operate “as cautiously as possible” to manage tensions on the Ukrainian border and to avoid “any kind of confrontation or aggravation” of the situation.

Calculated words, with the intention of sending a precise message without raising the tone further, but which are the sign of a distance and a tension that are still difficult to overcome. Still minimal, the results obtained in this summit which comes in full military crisis, without the conflict having yet exploded. The United States, for example, has expressed its willingness to discuss “ways in which we can establish mutual limits on the size and scope of military exercises and improve the transparency of these exercises “. Ryabkov himself admitted that the United States is “seriously considering” Russia’s requests for greater security guarantees in Europe, stating that “for the first time we have been able to discuss these issues”. The conclusions, he added, could only come after the end of the three meetings this week. Tomorrow is scheduled for NATO-Russia summit, while Wednesday the Osce meeting.

But the gap as to what acceptable situation is in which to stabilize ahead of a long season of talks still appears to be large. Sherman in fact invited the Russians to withdraw the troops massed on the Ukrainian border if he really does not intend to threaten the country and its allies, as said at the end of the meeting: “Send the troops back to the barracks or tell us what drills are going on and what their purpose is, ”he said. In the event of “a new invasion of Ukraine”, he added, the sanctions they will target Russian financial institutions, exports of key companies, the attitude of the US and its allies on the ground, and an increase in US military assistance to Ukraine. A stance that Moscow did not like, sensitive to the issue of American sanctions, so much so that Ryabkov reminded his counterpart that the two countries risk having to face “A worse security situation” if the United States does not show interest in the dialogue with Russia and in its requests for guarantees.

This still strong climate of tension, hidden behind the possibility of starting constructive talks, does not convince even theEuropean Union, a very interested spectator of the summit, also given the tensions recorded on the eastern border of the Baltics and along that Polish-Belarusian. So much so that the High Representative for EU Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, he stated: “Over 100,000 Russian troops amassed on the border with Ukraine are not there to have coffee, the hypothesis of an armed conflict cannot be ruled out. The presence of the troops and the rhetoric that comes from Moscow, on the fact that Ukraine should not leave the Russian sphere of influence, create concern, both for the Ukrainians and for the EU and NATO ”.

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