September 28, 2022

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Washington threatens to use gas weapons if Moscow attacks Ukraine

US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland speaks to reporters in Washington (POOL / Susan Walsh) on January 27, 2022.

US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland speaks to reporters in Washington (POOL / Susan Walsh) on January 27, 2022.

The United States on Thursday promised that the expensive North Stream 2 gas pipeline in Moscow would die during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, calling on Russia to “come back to the negotiating table” despite the cold first reaction to the US rejection. Its main demands.

The fate of this controversial gas pipeline between Russia and Germany was never wanted by Washington, but is now over with the blessing of Berlin, which will certainly be at the heart of German Chancellor Olaf Scholes’ next visit to the White House on February 7. , To meet with US President Joe Biden.

The German government, accused of embarrassment and procrastination, sought to clarify its position on Thursday. The “strong barriers” created by the West during the Russian offensive include Nord Stream 2, which is still waiting to be decreed, said German diplomat Annelena Berbach.

On January 18, 2022, two pro-Russian separatist militants march near an official building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk (AFP / Alexander NEMENOV)

On January 18, 2022, two pro-Russian separatist militants march near an official building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk (AFP / Alexander NEMENOV)

Based on these words and its “conversations” with Germany, the US government was more definite.

“I want to be clear with you today: if Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not prosper,” Victoria Nuland, of US Diplomacy No. 3, warned.

The United States also called for a meeting on Monday and the UN Security Council convened on Thursday, calling it a “clear threat” to Russia’s vision of “international peace and security.”

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– The “clear possibility” of an invasion –

President Biden summoned his Ukrainian envoy Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday and assured him that the United States would respond “firmly” in the event of a Russian invasion, and that the two discussed the possibility of increasing economic aid. .

A spokesman for the US National Security Council said on Twitter that the Democrats had raised the possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, a date already mentioned by US intelligence.

So the West continues to put pressure on Russia, which, at least the day after receiving written responses from the US and NATO to its demands to break the current stalemate, has shown that it has set itself aside.

“The ball is in their court,” Victoria Nuland said, “and we hope that Moscow will review what we have to offer them and return to the negotiating table.”

Since the end of 2021, about 100,000 Russian soldiers with their armored vehicles have camped on the border with Ukraine.

Russia denies any plan of aggression, but considers itself threatening itself by expanding NATO for 20 years and with the support of its Ukrainian neighbor, the West.

He called for a formal end to the expansion of the Atlantic Alliance, especially for Ukraine, and a return to Western military deployment along the 1997 border.

The US and NATO formally rejected these key demands from Moscow on Wednesday, while reopening the door to talks on mutual limits on the deployment of short- and medium-range missiles from two rival nuclear powers in Europe and the military. Exercises near the enemy camp.

“We can not say that our comments were taken into account,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Map of Europe showing the network of operational and planned gas pipelines (AFP /)

Map of Europe showing the network of operational and planned gas pipelines (AFP /)

Diplomatic leader Sergei Lavrov noted that there was no “positive response” to the main Russian claim.

But he did not close the door to dialogue, noting that “we can hope that serious dialogue will begin on secondary issues.”

– Beijing supports Moscow –

President Zelensky had earlier welcomed the “constructive” diplomatic exercise in Paris, where Russian and Ukrainian negotiators discussed for the first time in months the conflict between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, under the Franco-German Aegis. .

Slow but rare progress, the ambassadors announced a new meeting in Berlin in early February.

Map of territory showing Russian troops stationed on Ukrainian borders and Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian military bases and installations (AFP /)

Map of territory showing Russian troops stationed on Ukrainian borders and Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian military bases and installations (AFP /)

Ahead of an interview scheduled for Friday between Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin, France saw it as a “good signal” from Russia.

Russia can be satisfied with China’s outspoken support in defending the Kremlin ‘”legitimate concerns”.

But Washington has called on Beijing to “use its influence in Moscow” to avoid a conflict in Ukraine, which is “not good for China” because of its “significant impact on the world economy” and “energy sector.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Colombo on January 9, 2022 (AFP / ISHARA S. KODIKARA)

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Colombo on January 9, 2022 (AFP / ISHARA S. KODIKARA)

On the streets of Kiev, Ukrainians believed that Western diplomacy and military assistance would prevent the Russian invasion.

“I do not think Russia will take action, but it is important to get support now from our Western partners, including arms,” ​​Andriy Chyfrouk, a public procurement official, told AFP.

bur-fff / vgr / led