[Here's a decent analysis from Europe where it is clear that the game is nothing more than sabre rattling. It is disgusting that Europe is ruled by weak shit. So Putin gets to look like a strong man when in fact, Europe is much stronger than Russia on all fronts. Thanks to WW2, Europe has never been weaker or more pathetic. Russia controls the gas and Europe is groveling in front of a petty Jew-loving, Israel-loving old Communist. Jan]
Russia calls Europe’s bluff
By Euronews Brussels bureau
With over 100,000 troops stationed along the border, is Russia on the brink of invading Ukraine and sparking an all-out war?
Not at all, according to Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s long-time ambassador to the European Union, who believes fears of a military incursion are an overblown fabrication of the West.
“Russia has no plans to invade either Ukraine or any other country. It’s a bluff created not in Russia but in those countries that are now spreading this hysterical message across Europe and the world,” Chizhov said in an interview with Euronews’ Efi Koutsokosta.
“We believe in diplomacy, and I can only hope that our interlocutors, here in Europe and beyond the Atlantic, stick to the same principle that any difference can and should be resolved by diplomatic means.”
The ambassador’s comments come in the midst of growing reports of division among NATO allies following on-the-record comments by US President Joe Biden and Germany’s decision to block Estonia from sending military equipment to Ukraine. Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative, said Europe was facing its “most dangerous moment” since the Cold War.
“Europe is, of course, not in the most comfortable position. To that extent, I can agree,” Chizhov said, referring to Borrell’s ominous warning.
“Certain recent moves by NATO have increased the degree of instability across Europe and can be a source of concern for my good friend Borrell and others.”
In Moscow, President Vladimir Putin remains firm in his demands that the Atlantic alliance halt its eastward expansion, rule out Ukraine’s membership and roll back its military forces, conditions the Kremlin wants to see enshrined in a “legally binding” international treaty.
“[What's] at stake for Russia is Russian national security,” Chizhov said.
“It’s not Russia getting closer to NATO – it’s NATO getting closer to Russia.”
Moscow is now examining a point-by-point written response from the US and NATO, even if Western allies have already dismissed Putin’s demands as “non-starters” and a desperate attempt to reassert the spheres of influence that Russia lost after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Washington has also made it clear that NATO’s open door policy is essential for the alliance and therefore non-negotiable, an assessment that Chizhov directly challenged during his interview with Euronews.
“Any ambitions, any plans to join any security alliance should take into regard the interests of national security of other countries, in this case, of countries that are next door,” the ambassador said.
“[NATO's] open door policy is formulated as if NATO existed in a vacuum, as if there was nobody else around NATO, but the doors may be open, but any enlargement cannot be to the detriment of the security of other countries.”
As the border situation continues stuck in a diplomatic impasse, the talk of sanctions grows more menacing, with Biden going as far as suggesting Putin could be personally punished should he order a military incursion.
Among the most frequently touted targets is Nord Stream 2, the massive gas pipeline that connects Russia and Germany and is still pending regulatory approval. Chizhov brushed off fears of economic retaliation against the conduit and said Russia would be able to sell its gas in other markets.
“I think that European consumers should be the first to be worried because they will live without relatively cheap Russian gas and abundance of it, and will have to find other means of heating their homes,” the ambassador said, alluding to the EU’s over-reliance on Russian product.
“Winter is not over yet.”