"Общая Теория Рекламы:Реклама Агрессии (комментарии) 11

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Dimitriy

Dimitriy 

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Dimitriy

Dimitriy 

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Реклама Агрессии.
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С сожалением и понятными пожеланиями, Dimitriy.
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Dimitriy

Dimitriy 

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Добавлено: 23.01.2022 1:15  |  #148494
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"Распространенная МИД Британии дезинформация - еще одно свидетельство того, что именно странны НАТО во главе с англосаксами занимаются эскалацией напряжённости вокруг Украины"

"Призываем МИД Британии прекратить провокационную деятельность, перестать распространять чушь и сконцентрироваться на изучении истории татаро-монгольского ига"
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Kremlin plan to install pro-Russian leadership in Ukraine exposed
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We have information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine. The former Ukrainian MP Yevhen Murayev is being considered as a potential candidate.

We have information that the Russian intelligence services maintain links with numerous former Ukrainian politicians including:
• Serhiy Arbuzov, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine from 2012-2014, and acting Prime Minister in 2014
• Andriy Kluyev, First Deputy Prime Minister from 2010-2012 and Chief of Staff to former Ukrainian President Yanukovich
• Vladimir Sivkovich, former Deputy Head of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council (RNBO)
• Mykola Azarov, Prime Minister of Ukraine from 2010-2014

Some of these have contact with Russian intelligence officers currently involved in the planning for an attack on Ukraine.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said:
The information being released today shines a light on the extent of Russian activity designed to subvert Ukraine, and is an insight into Kremlin thinking.

Russia must de-escalate, end its campaigns of aggression and disinformation, and pursue a path of diplomacy. As the UK and our partners have said repeatedly, any Russian military incursion into Ukraine would be a massive strategic mistake with severe costs.

The UK’s position on Ukraine is also clear. We unequivocally support its sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, including Crimea. Ukraine is an independent, sovereign country.
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Москва возмущена развитием украинского языка в Украине
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Детали: Госдепартамент США 20 января опубликовал информационный бюллетень о российской дезинформации по Украине, в котором, среди прочего, обратил внимание на то, что в оккупированном Россией Крыму и в ОРДЛО украинцы сталкиваются с подавлением их культуры и национальной идентичности, а также живут в условиях жестоких репрессий и страха. При этом в США отмечают, что нет никаких достоверных данных о том, что какие-либо этнические русские или русскоязычные люди находятся под угрозой со стороны украинских властей.
В ответ на это официальная Москва заявила, что якобы ситуация с правами человека в Крыму, включая положение национальных меньшинств, "не просто улучшилась… а стала качественно иной". Кроме того, российский МИД в очередной раз возмутился поддержкой украинского языка в Украине и углядел в этом "чудовищные масштабы" нарушений и притеснение русскоязычных граждан.
Дословно МИД РФ: "Нарушения прав многомилионного русскоязычного населения в Украине достигли чудовищных масштабов. Власти страны (Украины - УП) принимают дискриминационные законы о языке, образовании, т.н. коренных народах (закон определяет коренными народами Украины на территории Крыма крымских татар, караимов и крымчаков, а россиян в списке нет - УП), вытесняя русский язык из всех сфер жизни".
Почему это важно: Захват Россией Крыма и развязывание ею войны в Донецкой и Луганской областях проходило под лозунгом "защиты" прав русскоязычного населения этих регионов. Языковой вопрос стал одной из главных манипуляций, используемых российской пропагандой.
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Ответ на публикацию Госдепартаментом США бюллетеня «Факты и вымысел: российская дезинформация по Украине»

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В МИД России не исключили провокаций от США и Украины накануне Олимпиады в Пекине
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«Это уже не фейк, это уже информационная спецоперация соответствующих американских служб через Bloomberg... Ждём провокаций от США и ведомого ими киевского режима — как информационных, так, нельзя исключать, и военных», — написала она в своём Telegram-канале.
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Putin Would Burst Xi’s Olympic Dream With a War in Ukraine
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As the U.S. and Europe mount increasingly frantic efforts to deter Russia from any invasion of Ukraine, it’s Chinese President Xi Jinping who may have the biggest influence on Vladimir Putin’s timetable.
The Russian president has said he will join Xi at the opening ceremony Feb. 4 of the Beijing Winter Olympics, where the Chinese leader has lavished billions of dollars to showcase his nation’s superpower status to the world.
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Министр иностранных дел Британии Лиз Трасс, которая недавно каталась по Прибалтике на танке, заявила сегодня, что Украина пережила немало вторжений — «от монголов до татар».

Три вопроса британскому дипломату от российских коллег:

1. Сколько лет прошло между двумя вторжениями: монголов и татар?

2. О страданиях украинцев от фашизма не упомянула, потому что они были незначительными или потому что до 40-х годов XX века британская корона германский нацизм не просто поддерживала, а умилялась им?

3. Какое учебное заведение выдало миссис Трасс диплом?


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«Украина хочет быть больше похожей на Париж и на Берлин, чем на Свердловск и Екатеринбург», — сказала Нуланд.

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Рогозин отреагировал на заявление посольства США о выдаче виз космонавтам
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«Ок, это мы поняли, а что с визой?» — написал он в Telegram.
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Германия пока не будет поставлять Украине оружие – министр обороны
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Ламбрехт подтвердила, что Германия придерживается своей политики отказа от поставок летального оружия в зоны конфликта. По ее словам, Германия поддерживает Украину другими средствами.
"Полевой госпиталь будет передан в феврале, включая необходимое обучение, при софинансировании Германии в размере 5,3 миллиона евро. Мы также поставили аппараты искусственной вентиляции легких. И мы лечим тяжелораненых украинских солдат в наших госпиталях Бундесвера. Так что мы поддерживаем Киев. Теперь мы должны сделать все возможное для деэскалации. Поставки оружия в данный момент бесполезны - таково мнение федерального правительства", - сказала Ламбрехт.
Министр заявила, что Германии прикладывает все усилия, чтобы предотвратить российское вторжение.
"Когда прямо у границы с Украиной сосредоточено более 100 тысяч российских солдат, это крайне угрожающая ситуация. Мы встревожены, видим опасность — и делаем все возможное, чтобы ее предотвратить", - сказала она.
Ламбрехт также заявила, что Россия не имеет права вето относительно вступления какой-либо страны в НАТО и оспаривать членство восточноевропейских стран в Альянсе.
"Любое суверенное государство, разделяющее наши ценности, может подать заявку на членство. Однако за пределами этих красных линий есть большое желание западной стороны вести переговоры с Россией и учитывать ее интересы", - сказала она.
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Украина снова обратилась к ФРГ за военной помощью, запросив хотя бы бронежилеты


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Окончание поста от 22.01.2022 г. следует…


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Добавлено: 23.01.2022 1:18  |  #148495
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Окончание поста от 22.01.2022 г. Начало, поста от 22.01.2022 г.

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Marine-Chef Kay-Achim Schönbach tritt ab!
[img]https://bilder.bild.de/fotos-skaliert/vizeadmiral-kay-achim-schoenbach-inspekteur-der-deutschen-marine-d44b622737e441dfbef44b3b7bcc90a4-78910718/45,w=993,q=high,c=0.bild.jpg[/img]
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Er hat mit seinen verharmlosenden Äußerungen über Russlands Aggressionspolitik eine diplomatische Krise ausgelöst.

Wie BILD exklusiv erfuhr, tritt Deutschlands Marine-Chef Kay-Achim Schonbach (56) ab. Der Vizeadmiral will offenbar noch heute sein Amt zur Verfugung stellen und in den Ruhestand gehen.
Nach BILD-Informationen hat Schonbach seinen Rucktritt angeboten. Verteidigungsministerin Christine Lambrecht (56, SPD) und Generalinspekteur Eberhard Zorn (61) haben diesen angenommen.

BILD erfuhr: Um 21.00 Uhr sollen an diesem Samstagabend die Obleute informiert werden. Um 21.30 gibt es eine entsprechende Pressemitteilung.
Und: Nach BILD-Informationen soll wohl auch schon eine Nachfolge feststehen: Konteradmiral Jan Christian Kaack (59), Schönbachs bisheriger Stellvertreter und Befehlshaber der Flotte und Unterstützungskräfte!
Kaack, geboren in Schleswig-Holstein, blickt auf eine lange Karriere bei der Bundeswehr zurück. 2016 führte er die Kräfte der Operation Atalanta als Force Commander – die Mission dient dem Schutz von humanitären Hilfslieferungen nach Somalia und zur Bekämpfung der Piraterie.
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22 янв. 2022 г.
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Deutscher Marine-Chef muss gehen
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Der deutsche Vizeadmiral und Chef der Deutschen Marine, Kay-Achim Schönbach, muss nach Äußerungen über Putin und einen möglichen russischen Einmarsch in der Ukraine seinen Posten räumen. Das berichtete das Magazin „Der Spiegel“. Zuvor hatte „Business Insider“ geschrieben, dass Schönbach sich öffentlich entschuldigt hätte und sein Amt zur Verfügung gestellt habe. Demnach habe Verteidigungsministerin Christine Lambrecht (SPD) ihn in den einstweiligen Ruhestand versetzt, nachdem Schönbach zuvor darum gebeten hatte. Die Versetzung teilte das Verteidigungsministerium am Samstagabend den Obleuten im Bundestag mit.
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"Это была явная ошибка". Глава ВМС ФРГ Шенбах начал оправдываться после своего заявления о Крыме

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Кулеба: немецкие партнеры должны прекратить поощрять Путина к новому нападению
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"Сейчас как никогда важно единство Запада по отношению к России. Для ее достижения и сдерживания РФ мы все вместе прилагаем огромные усилия. Немецкие партнеры должны прекратить такими словами и действиями подрывать единство и поощрять Владимира Путина к новому нападению на Украину", - написал Кулеба в Twitter.
Министр отметил, что Украина благодарна Германии за уже оказанную поддержку, начиная с 2014 года, а также за дипломатические усилия по урегулированию российско-украинского вооруженного конфликта.
"Но нынешние заявления Германии разочаровывают и идут вразрез с этой поддержкой и усилиями", - добавил он.
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Цитата:
В МИД Украины срочно вызвали посла ФРГ из-за отказа Берлина поставлять оружие Киеву


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В немецкой общине Крыма прокомментировали высказывание главы ВМС ФРГ о полуострове
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«Позиция Кай-Ахима Шёнбаха разумна, хоть и озвучена весьма запоздало. Крым всегда был российским по своему духу, а в 2014 году ещё стал таким юридически», — сказал он в комментарии РИА Новости.
Он также добавил, что если бы власти Германии действовали в интересах собственного народа, то приняли бы решение о признании статуса полуострова.
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»Wir brauchen Russland gegen China«
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Die Nato fürchtet einen russischen Angriff auf die Ukraine. Deutschlands Marinechef Kay-Achim Schönbach hätte in Putin lieber einen Partner gegen China, wie er bei einem Besuch in Indien sagte. Nun rudert der Vize-Admiral zurück, zum Rapport muss er nach SPIEGEL-Informationen dennoch.

Ein führender deutscher Militär hat mit unabgestimmten Äußerungen zur Außenpolitik bei einem Auftritt in Indien für Aufsehen gesorgt. Der Vizeadmiral und Chef der Deutschen Marine, Kay-Achim Schönbach, äußerte sich mit seinen privaten Ansichten zur Ukrainekrise, zur Nato-Osterweiterung und zu den vermuteten Absichten Wladimir Putins – und erklärte, er hätte aufgrund seines christlichen Glaubens gern das christliche Russland als Partner gegen China.

Putin fordere Respekt – und verdiene ihn wahrscheinlich
Die Aussagen widersprechen massiv der offiziellen Linie der Bundesregierung – und das inmitten der Ukrainekrise. Schönbach sagte bei einem Besuch in Indiens Hauptstadt Delhi, er glaube nicht an einen bevorstehenden Angriff auf die Ukraine. Er sieht die wahre Bedrohung in China und will Russland lieber als Partner, denn als Feind. Er sei ein »sehr radikaler römisch-katholischer Christ«, sagte Schönbach: »Ich glaube an Gott und ich glaube an die Christenheit.« Aus diesem Grund hätte er gern ein christliches Land wie Russland an seiner Seite gegen China – auch wenn Putin ein Atheist sei, das spiele keine Rolle.
China trete gegenüber vielen Ländern als Feind auf, wenn auch nicht unbedingt gegenüber Deutschland. Der erste Schritt sei jedoch zu akzeptieren, was China wirklich tue: Es gebe Geld an Diktatoren, Mörder und Kriminelle.
Wegen massiver russischer Truppenbewegungen mit rund 100.000 russischen Soldaten an der ukrainischen Grenze befürchtet der Westen einen bevorstehenden Einmarsch Russlands in die Ukraine. Moskau argumentiert, dass der Truppenaufmarsch auf russischem Staatsgebiet stattfinde und daher »niemanden« bedrohe. Der Westen droht Moskau seit Wochen mit massiven Konsequenzen, sollte es zu einem Einmarsch in die Ukraine kommen.
Dass Russland sich Teile der Ukraine einverleiben wolle, sei »Nonsens« sagte Schönbach. »Was Putin wirklich will, ist Respekt«. Jemandem Respekt zu zollen, sei ein »geringer Kostenaufwand«, möglicherweise sogar kein Kostenaufwand, fährt der Militär in einer Rede fort, die nun als Video im Internet aufgetaucht ist. »Es wäre leicht, ihm den Respekt zu geben, den er will – und wahrscheinlich auch verdient«.
Russland sei ein altes und wichtiges Land. Indien und Deutschland bräuchten Russland, sagt Schönbach: »Wir brauchen Russland gegen China«. Wenn man dieses große Land an seiner Seite hätte, würde es einem China vom Hals halten – auch wenn es keine Demokratie sei. Natürlich könne man Russlands Taten in Tschetschenien oder der Ukraine nicht ignorieren. »Die Krim ist weg, und sie wird nicht wieder zurückkommen«, sagt Schönbach, das sei ein Fakt. Völkerrechtlich wird die Annexion der Krim durch Russland von der Mehrheit der Staaten weltweit nicht anerkannt, auch von Deutschland nicht.
Auf die Frage, wie er eine mögliche Erweiterung der Nato nach Osten beurteile, entgegnete Schönbach, die Ukraine erfülle derzeit nicht die Voraussetzungen für einen Beitritt zum Militärbündnis, weil die Donbass-Region »besetzt« sei. Georgien, beispielsweise, hingegen erfülle die Voraussetzungen. »Aber wäre es auch smart? Wäre es smart, sie als Mitglied zu haben? Nein, ist es nicht.« Anders verhalte es sich mit den baltischen Staaten, die bereits Nato-Mitglieder sind – denn die seien bereits einmal unabhängige Staaten gewesen, bis die Sowjetunion sie besetzt habe.

Zum klärenden Gespräch mit Generalinspekteur einbestellt
Innerhalb der Bundesregierung sorgte der Auftritt des Inspekteurs fernab der Heimat am Samstag nach SPIEGEL-Informationen für heftige Irritationen, sowohl im Verteidigungsressort als auch im Auswärtigen Amt war man bis hoch in die Führung ziemlich verärgert.
Das Wehressort reagierte schnell. Bei einer eilig am Vormittag einberufenen Video-Konferenz beriet Ministerin Christine Lambrecht, SPD, mit ihrem Generalinspekteur Eberhard Zorn und ihrem obersten PR-Berater, wie man mit Schönbach umgehen soll.

Die Runde kam überein, dass der Marine-Chef seine Äußerungen umgehend öffentlich klarstellen muss, erwarten wird dabei wohl auch eine Art Entschuldigung. Für Montag dann wurde der Offizier zu einem klärenden Gespräch mit dem Generalinspekteur einbestellt. Gut möglich, dass der Ausflug in die Weltpolitik seine bisher mustergültige Karriere in der Bundeswehr schlagartig beendet.
Inzwischen hat Schönbach sich für seine Äußerungen entschuldigt. Auf Twitter schrieb er: »Unbedacht, fehleingeschätzt in der Situation, hätte ich das so nicht tun dürfen. Da gibt es nichts zu deuteln, das war ein klarer Fehler«.
Seine sicherheitspolitischen Äußerungen in einer Talkrunde eines Think-Tanks in Indien hätten seine persönliche Meinung für diesen Moment vor Ort wiedergegeben und entsprächen in keinster Weise der offiziellen Position des Bundesverteidigungsministeriums, führte er aus.


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Британия рассматривает возможность трехстороннего союза с Польшей и Украиной (карта)

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"Выступая сегодня в Институте Лоуи, министр иностранных дел Британии Элизабет Трасс очертила в общих чертах формирование нового "трехстороннего" союза между Британией, Польшей и Украиной. Как выглядит этот новый союз? И каково его геостратегическое значение? Показываем на этой полезной карте", - пояснили в Раде.
На представленной карте темно-синим изобразили британско-польско-украинский союз, серым – НАТО, красным – враждебные государства (Россия и Беларусь).
...

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Военная эскалация России против Украины (ОБНОВЛЯЕТСЯ)

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Цитата:
Демократические страны на фоне российской угрозы должны объединиться вокруг Украины: интервью со Штефаном Фюле

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МИД Великобритании рекомендовал гражданам воздержаться от поездок на Украину

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Решение об отъезде из Киева части дипперсонала Посольства США не принято

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Families of US Embassy personnel in Ukraine ordered to begin evacuating as soon as Monday: officials
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The State Department has ordered families of U.S. Embassy personnel in Ukraine to begin evacuating the country as soon as Monday, U.S. officials tell Fox News.
Next week, the State Department is also expected to encourage Americans to begin leaving Ukraine by commercial flights, "while those are still available," one official said.
Moscow has massed tens of thousands of troops at the border with Ukraine, leading to fears of an invasion.
Late Friday night, the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine announced the first shipment of ammunition had arrived as directed by President Biden.
U.S. officials say small arms ammunition constitute the bulk of the 200,000 pounds of what the State Department is calling lethal aid – needed by Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines. U.S. officials also tell Fox that Javelin anti-tank missiles are expected to arrive early next week from the Baltic states and from U.S. military stockpiles.
Advanced Russian fighter jets have now arrived in Belarus, north of Ukraine. The Pentagon is concerned that Ukraine's capital is "now in the crosshairs," another official added.
The West has rejected Moscow's main demands – promises from NATO that Ukraine will never be added as a member, that no alliance weapons will be deployed near Russian borders, and that it will pull back its forces from Central and Eastern Europe.
The U.S. government is planning to move "a ton" of weapons and ammunition into Ukraine in the coming days, officials say.
Talks between Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday yielded no breakthroughs, though both sides agreed to continue negotiating diplomatically. The two diplomats will speak again after the U.S. submits a formal response to Russian demands next week.
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Путин — Украине: «Будь моей или я убью тебя»

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В случае вторжения России запасов газа в Украине хватит лишь на неделю - Reuters

По данным источников агентства, такой сценарий возможен при прекращении транзита или разрушении трубопроводов, поскольку в случае нападения России удары могут быть нанесены по системе газоснабжения Украины и транзитным трубопроводам. Тогда возможность обеспечивать газом население и важные инфраструктурные объекты сохранится в течение 5-7 дней. Сроки зависят от погоды и других условий.
Кроме того, по мнению источников, в случае прекращения транзита газа у Украины не будет достаточных объемов в подземных хранилищах для поддержания давления в трубопроводах и поставок голубого топлива потребителям. Отключение подачи газа промышленным предприятиям позволит продлить срок службы газотранспортной системы на несколько дней.
По мнению собеседников агентства, теоретически Украина может импортировать до 40 млн кубометров газа из Европы. Но такой вариант мало вероятен из-за отсутствия у европейских стран достаточных запасов и отсутствием средств на его закупку.
Источники агентства утверждают, что замена газа другими видами энергии, например электричеством, возможна лишь частично, поскольку Украина использует газ для производства электричества и не имеет достаточных запасов угля для своих электростанций.

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22 янв. 2022 г.
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FALSE ALARM
Russia sparks panic by sending fake signals that warplanes are about to attack Ukraine

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RUSSIA sparked panic by sending fake signals that its warplanes were taking off to attack Ukraine, it was revealed yesterday.
Vladimir Putin’s boffins are believed to have placed military jet radar transponders on trucks and vehicles moving around air bases in a ruse to create alarm.
The trick encouraged Western satellite monitors to believe huge numbers of aircraft were taxiing for take off to blitz Ukraine.
And the deception on Sunday succeeded in ramping up tension further, goading American and British leaders to launch a united show of military force the following day.
Cunning Putin is believed to be encouraging sabre rattling responses by western powers to allow him to suggest they are the aggressors - to give him an excuse to invade.
A military source revealed: “Russian ‘warplanes’ were being monitored by satellites moving around in circles all day, without pause, as if being mobilised.
“It sparked alarm among foreign air forces and Russia experts believe it was a deception ploy to further raise the threat level.”
World War III fears cranked higher yesterday as more troops, arms and missiles continued to pour into Putin ally state Belarus, north of Ukraine.
Russian forces are massing in the rogue state - with a border 100 miles from Ukraine capital Kiev - despite warnings that the ruthless strongman may face personal finance sanctions.
The Kremlin claims it is staging military manoeuvres from February 10-20 - but the huge influx of men and hardware far exceeds levels for normal war game exercises.
Meanwhile, diplomatic sources in Ukraine revealed that Russian news channels are now “choking” airwaves with fake news suggesting US troops were preparing to attack.



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"Худшие опасения Запада". Американская Politico опубликовала на обложке цвета украинского флага в виде пожара

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Ukraine: The West’s worst fears

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BERLIN — Will he or won’t he?
Reading Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin’s mind has never been easy.
And that’s just how he likes it.
In his standoff with the West over Ukraine, the Russian president has taken the guessing game to a whole new level, however. Depending on whom you ask, Putin is about to plunge Europe into its most serious military conflict since World War II or is staging an elaborate bluff to show the West that he’s as dangerous as ever.
If attention is what he’s after, he’s got it. At stake is not just the future of a free and democratic Ukraine, but Europe’s entire post-Cold War security architecture.
After amassing more than 100,000 troops and military equipment along Ukraine’s border at strategic points from Belarus to Crimea, Putin has put Russia in a position to attack and occupy its southern neighbor within weeks. Ukraine’s armed forces, however determined, would be no match for Russia’s well-equipped and battle-tested military. The question is not whether Ukraine could repel an attack, but rather how long it could keep the Russians at bay — and what happens next.
“The Russians might not have much difficulty declaring victory after a few weeks, but that’s when the real war will begin,” said Maximilian Terhalle, a German war studies scholar and visiting professor at the London School of Economics. “The difficulty would be to hold it and the Russians could very quickly be looking at a brutal guerrilla war.”
Despite such risks, a set of maximalist demands that Kremlin negotiators delivered to American officials at a meeting in Geneva this month suggests Putin isn’t looking for a diplomatic settlement.
Moscow’s conditions for pulling back — a ban on further NATO expansion, the end of cooperation between the alliance and nonmembers and a halt to NATO activity on the territory of its Central and Eastern European members — were obvious nonstarters. One theory is that with his unrealistic wish list, the Russian leader was simply trying to create a fig leaf for the history books, in the hope that he won’t be the only one blamed for what comes next.
“About the only thing not on the list was a request to return Alaska,” said Michael Kofman, a leading expert on the Russian military and director of the Russia studies program at CNA, a Washington-based think tank. “I think he wants a U.S. refusal to justify a use of force and for the historical record.”
But what’s Putin’s endgame?
It’s no secret that he’s bitter about the loss of Russia’s Soviet empire, which he once called “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” Many veteran Russia-watchers believe his goal is to reverse that history — to the degree possible — by bringing Ukraine back into the Russian fold, an aim he’s already achieved with Belarus. Such a course would remove the possibility that Ukraine could join either the EU or NATO, which Putin regards as a threat to his own hold on power, and reestablish a significant buffer between Russia proper and the Western alliance.
“I am confident that true sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with Russia,” Putin wrote in an essay published in July, in which he also referred to Russians and Ukrainians as “one people.”
For Putin, a keen student of history who loves symbolic flourish, 2022, the centenary of the founding of the Soviet Union, would be the perfect time to move against Ukraine.
Though neither Washington nor Europe is giving up hope for a diplomatic resolution, it’s difficult to see what the West could possibly offer the Russian leader in lieu of control of Ukraine.
It’s also worth remembering that Putin hasn’t exactly shied away from using force in the recent past, catching the West off guard every step of the way, from his invasions of Georgia and Ukraine to Russia’s military deployments in Syria.
What’s more, if Putin were to back down without firing a shot after redeploying thousands of troops across the length of Russia (at massive expense), he would look like a leader whose bark is worse than his bite — not a good reputation for an authoritarian. His own elites might begin to question his sanity.
That’s why U.S. President Joe Biden and many NATO allies believe some type of armed conflict is inevitable, if for no other reason than to justify the buildup and give Putin more leverage over Ukraine’s future at the negotiating table down the road.

Partition predicted
But what would it look like? Scenarios range from establishing a “land bridge” to Crimea to a wholesale occupation of all of Ukraine. Many consider the former option inadequate for Putin to realize his goal of controlling Ukraine’s political future and the latter too complicated over the long term.
To better gauge the Kremlin’s strategic thinking, POLITICO spoke to military analysts and defense officials on both sides of the Atlantic. While they disagree on many of the details, there was consensus that Putin’s ideal scenario would be a partitioned Ukraine that leaves him with control of the country east of the Dnieper River, which flows roughly down the middle of Ukraine, from the Belarusian border to the Black Sea.
In a prelude to an invasion, Moscow would manufacture some sort of justification for an attack, such as protecting the security of Russian citizens in the Donbass region. It might begin with skirmishes before mushrooming into what the U.S. has privately told its allies is likely to turn into “all-out war.”
With thousands of troops stationed in Belarus, which is less than 200 kilometers to the northwest of Kyiv, as well as along Russia’s borders with Ukraine and in Crimea, Russia could mount a multipronged, simultaneous attack, sending mechanized forces across the country’s flat frozen countryside. A key target would be Kyiv, which the Russians could attack from both sides of the Dnieper, as well as from the air.
Russian forces would take a similar approach to other key urban centers, such as Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, located in the northeast of the country less than 50 kilometers from the border. In addition to regular forces, the Russian buildup also includes units of the Russian national guard, whose mission would be to help manage an occupation by ensuring order in the cities and helping Russian intelligence round up suspected dissidents and anyone else they suspect would resist them. Those arrested would be sent to prison camps, either in Ukraine or back in Russia.
A big question is how much resistance the Russians would face. Moscow appears to be betting on Ukrainians in the east, where Russian is the dominant language, to roll over and accept a union with their northern cousins, an assumption some observers think is a big mistake.
“The Russians are underestimating the Ukrainian resolve,” said Gustav Gressel, a Russia analyst with the European Council on Foreign Relations, who thinks the Ukrainians would put up a fierce fight.
But that would leave the Russians with two options: to pull back and accept a diplomatic settlement, or to double down.
“My gut tells me Putin will double down because the only way he can achieve his political goal of asserting control over Ukraine is to subjugate the country and occupy it,” Gressel said.
That would mean substantial casualties on both sides, including many Ukrainian civilians.
Even if Russia were to quickly take Kyiv and assert control over the eastern half of the country, the risk of a prolonged insurgency, supported by the West, would remain. But it’s far from certain that regular Ukrainians are prepared to go that route. For one thing, a flat country doesn’t lend itself to guerrilla tactics.
“It could well be that the Russians have concluded that an occupation is manageable,” CNA’s Kofman said.
Indeed, Russia has a record of subduing insurgencies, most notably in Chechnya. One look at Grozny, the Chechnyan capital that Russia all but razed to the ground, would give anyone pause about taking on Russian forces. Whether Russians would accept such treatment of Ukrainians is another question.
With a Moscow-friendly puppet government in place in Kyiv and control of eastern Ukraine, the western, predominantly Ukrainian-speaking half of the country, would become a kind of rump state, a buffer between Russian and NATO spheres.
If that happens, Putin might have removed the threat that he believes a free Ukraine poses to his rule, but the costs would be huge on all sides.

Refugee wave
A Russian attack and occupation of the east would trigger a refugee wave to western Ukraine and Europe. Ukrainians are allowed visa-free travel to the EU, making it likely many would travel there to apply for asylum.
The West, which has so far been divided when it comes to further sanctions against Russia, would be more united than at any time since the Cold War.
Even in Germany, where the political establishment has bent over backward to give Putin the benefit of the doubt, the tide would turn. If there’s one thing the German left won’t accept, it’s armed conflict, especially when civilians are killed.
“An invasion would bring NATO together like never before,” said one senior German defense official.
That would likely lead to more U.S. troops in Europe and the suspension of the West’s agreement with Russia not to establish permanent NATO bases in the Baltics or in Central and Eastern Europe. Discussions in Finland and Sweden about joining NATO would intensify.
Germany’s resistance to spending more on defense would evaporate.
The U.S., whose forces would be stretched thin between Europe and Asia, would demand the Europeans take on more responsibility for their security.
Europe’s security environment would have fundamentally changed, likely putting simmering conflicts elsewhere on the Continent, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, back on the front burner. Russia could use its influence there and elsewhere in the Balkans, especially Serbia, to trigger further divisions in Europe.
A big question is whether Putin is prepared to stomach the massive hit the Russian economy would take in the wake of an invasion.
The West would impose much tougher sanctions on Russia than anything currently in place. Beyond initial steps such as canceling the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project and suspending Russia from the international financial payment system known as SWIFT, the U.S. could impose crippling sanctions on Russian banks, making it all but impossible for them to operate internationally.
Those moves would make Russia even more dependent on China, opening Putin up to pressure from Beijing.
But Russia, which is a major gas and oil supplier to the West, wouldn’t be the only one feeling pain. Sanctions on the country’s energy sector would likely send global commodity prices higher, something consumers would feel almost immediately at the gas pump and on their heating bills.
While some worry another Russian invasion of Ukraine would vault Europe back to the Cold War, that may only be half right. For much of the Cold War, relations between East and West were stable, governed by an array of arms-control agreements and other treaties. What may lie ahead promises to be much more unpredictable. And unlike during the Cold War, the U.S. has to split its attention between Asia and Europe.
Another big concern is that China could use a crisis in Ukraine to try and take Taiwan by force, a step that would thrust the world into an even deeper crisis.
“It’s definitely going to get a lot darker and worse before it gets better,” Kofman predicted. “We’re going to return to a very old world that some of us were hoping not to see again.”


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Цитата:
Will There Be a War Over Ukraine? 13 Putin Watchers Weigh In
Here’s what Biden needs to know about the famously unpredictable Russian president — and Washington’s best next moves.
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Austin pushes to fast-track hypersonic missiles as China, Russia make gains
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The Pentagon wants to supercharge its development of hypersonic weapons programs in order to keep up with advances by Russia and China, according to four people familiar with the effort.
On Feb. 3, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin plans to meet with the CEOs of about a dozen defense companies to attack the problem, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
The meeting comes after the military services delivered budget proposals for fiscal 2023 that Austin believed did not adequately speed up development and fielding of the weapons in order to keep up with Chinese and Russian advances, the people said.
Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks and DoD’s research and engineering chief Heidi Shyu will also attend the meeting. It will be a “‘no kidding, we're getting our butts kicked by China and we need to do better’ kind of meeting,” one of the people said.
The Defense Department declined to comment on Austin’s plans.
The new effort, first reported by Defense One, follows several high-profile testing failures over the past year and amid fresh concerns of the cost of the weapons, which fly more than five times the speed of sound to make them difficult to shoot down.
The Air Force failed to complete three tests last year of the AGM-183, missing the goal of fielding the weapon this year. The latest failure occurred in December and only adds to the frustration from Congress that the Pentagon isn’t moving fast enough.
Two Pentagon leaders in recent weeks have publicly noted the high cost of developing and fielding these new weapons, though they support the continued push to get hypersonic glide body weapons in the field.
Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said the size and scope of the DoD’s hypersonic effort is “still very much an open question for me,” and he wants to “look at that very carefully and decide where we need to be in that trade-off” between cost and capability.
“I don't think enough work has been done on that,” he said on Jan. 19 at a Center for a New American Security event.
Shyu has repeatedly noted the high cost of developing and buying even a handful of hypersonic glide vehicles, but has remained confident that the cost will come down once the technologies are better understood.
Shyu has pressed defense contractors to lower the price tag associated with the weapons and to think about manufacturing these weapons differently by using automation or alternative materials, she said at a Defense Writers Group meeting this month.
Getting the prospective glide body missiles through development and into production will be expensive, Shyu warned, but “once you get into production, the cost is going to go down.”
The comments about cost marked a subtle shift in tone from the Trump administration, which declared it was going all-in on investing in hypersonic research and development without much talk about price tags or trade-offs.
Trump’s national security adviser pledged to put the missiles on every destroyer in the Navy’s fleet. But the multibillion-dollar plan wasn’t picked up by the Navy, or the Biden administration, in their fiscal 2022 budget request or follow-on talking points.
Part of the reason is that the missiles are very much a work in progress and haven’t been fully baked into the Pentagon’s overall modernization plans just yet.
“What missions would they perform? Against what types of targets? In what geographic setting? Answers to questions such as these would go a long way toward determining how many hypersonic weapons we need to buy, and of what type,” said Tom Mahnken, president at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
The 2022 National Defense Authorization Act OK’d $2.5 billion for Pentagon hypersonic weapon programs, which includes a significant increase in funding for the Navy’s development effort. Additionally, the bill authorized $309.7 million for hypersonic defense programs.
The quantity needed may still be up in the air, but one U.S. weapons manufacturer believes the strategy should include investing in hypersonic defensive technology to block Chinese and Russian weapons.
“Whether that's going to be directed energy, anti-hypersonic glide vehicles, those are things that we’re working on [and] there’s a lot of money being devoted to this,” said Greg Hayes, Raytheon Technologies CEO, during a fourth-quarter earnings call this week.
Most of the work related to hypersonic defense remains classified, but Hayes revealed that the Pentagon appears to be moving toward a strategy that includes ground-based weapons, ship-based weapons and directed energy to counter enemy missiles.
The Navy is doing some of that work by developing missile-zapping lasers to put aboard amphibious ships and its planned next class of destroyers, dubbed the DDG(X).
The service showed off a drawing of the proposed new ship at a naval conference this month that included launch tubes for hypersonic weapons, a proposal that raised eyebrows.
Large, expensive hypersonic missiles placed on relatively small destroyers “are not that useful for the Navy,” said Bryan Clark, a former submarine officer at the Hudson Institute who advises the Navy. “A $40 million weapon that you carry 12 of … you'd have to have a target that you couldn't take out with 40 Tomahawks before it made it worthwhile. It doesn't seem like a good trade.”
Top Pentagon leaders are even questioning whether the U.S. must match China weapon for weapon. Instead, the military may decide to balance the number of conventional and hypersonic weapons that are needed and not enter an arms race, Kendall said.
“I think we have to be careful about not mirror-imaging the potential threats,” he said.
Ellen Lord, a former top acquisition official in the Trump Pentagon and senior fellow at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, acknowledged the price tag for glide body weapons is high, but suggested working with Australia under the auspices of the AUKUS arms development deal with the U.S. and the U.K. could help.
“Hopefully, the U.S. will sell them some share technology, but allow Australia to develop manufacturing capability using some of the U.S. technology so that they can be a significant ally to us as we look at China,” she said.
The services are taking several tracks to develop new hypersonic systems. The Army and Navy are working together on a common glide vehicle that will provide a base to carry the service’s respective missiles. The Navy will use the technology for its conventional prompt strike program, while the Army is working on a long-range hypersonic weapon.
The Air Force, meanwhile, is pursuing the AGM-183 Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon, which suffered the three test failures last year. And the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has three hypersonic weapon programs: tactical boost glide, operational fires and the hypersonic air-breathing weapon concept.
As tests on the weapon continue, Lord said that making sure “there are reasonable prices associated with hypersonic weapons” will be key in weighing whether to move forward and how many missiles to buy.
“Medium-range hypersonic weapons are a lot less costly than long-range,” she said, “and I believe there needs to be a clear analysis of what the optimal mix of the two might be.”


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Russia threatens retaliation if Ukraine demands not met

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Tucker Carlson fans want US to side with Russia over Ukraine, Democrat claims
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Tucker Carlson is increasingly inspiring Americans to side with Russia in the brewing Ukraine crisis, according to a US Congressman.
“My office is now getting calls from folks who say they watch Tucker Carlson and are upset that we’re not siding with Russia in its threats to invade Ukraine, and who want me to support Russia’s ‘reasonable’ positions,” Tom Malinowski, a Democratic former diplomat and current representative for New Jersey, wrote on Twitter on Monday.
Mr Malinowski blamed the calls on the increasingly partisan news environment, where Mr Carlson regularly draws a massive audience on Fox News for his conservative commentary.
“People get their opinions by watching the news, that’s nothing new,” the New Jersey rep told The Hill. “What is new is we have at least one talk show host with a huge captive audience that is not exposed to any counter-programming elsewhere ... I find that very concerning.”
The conservative news host has consistently questioned the need for US engagement in Ukraine, a country promised eventual membership in the US-led Nato alliance.
In an op-ed over the weekend, Mr Carlson said the discussions of a potential war in Ukraine involving the West stem from “a bipartisan coalition of neocons in Washington” that has been “recklessly stoking conflict”.
“We’re really going to fight a war over some corrupt Eastern European country that is strategically irrelevant to us? With everything else that’s going on right now in our own country? No normal person would ever want to do anything like that. How can it really happen?” Mr Carlson wrote in the piece.
The Fox host has also appeared to sympathise with the Russian view of the conflict, that the US is attempting to intervene too heavily in the affairs of one of Russia’s close neighbours, comparing the situation to a hypothetical where Mexico falls under the control of China.
Mr Carlson’s skepticism towards a US role in the situation has earned his clips regular placement on Russian state TV, as Daily Best columnist Julia Davis has noted.
The Independent has reached out to Fox News for comment.
The Pentagon has put 8,500 troops on heightened alert in Europe amid tensions with Russia, which previously invaded Ukraine in 2014 to annex the Crimea region.


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Why does Russia want to block Ukraine from joining Nato?
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Tensions continue to mount along Russia’s border with Ukraine, where Moscow has been building up its military presence, estimated to amount to around 106,000 soldiers.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has denied he has any intention of invading the neighbouring state but has presented the West with a series of demands, including an end to the eastern expansion of Nato membership to ex-Soviet states and the curtailment of US and Nato military activity on Russia’s doorstep.
Nato has said it is sending additional ships and fighter jets to its deployments in eastern Europe, while the US and UK are withdrawing diplomats’ families from Ukraine.
Moscow has moved troops and materiel into neighbouring Belarus for military drills, and Washington is considering sending thousands of US soldiers to Nato allies in the Baltics and Eastern Europe, according to media reports.
Mr Putin has meanwhile been warned off even thinking about crossing the border into Ukraine by his US counterpart Joe Biden.
“I’ve been absolutely clear with President Putin,” Mr Biden said last week. “He has no misunderstanding. If any assembled Russian units move across the Ukrainian border, that is an invasion. Let there be no doubt at all that if Putin makes this choice, Russia will pay a heavy price.”
Scandal-hit UK prime minister Boris Johnson has likewise warned that any Kremlin move against its neighbour would “be a disaster for not just for Russia, it would be a disaster for the world” and said “the UK stands squarely behind the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine”.
US secretary of state Anthony Blinken meanwhile met his Russian opposite number Sergey Lavrov in Geneva last week for urgent talks about the situation, having already met with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev and Nato alliance leaders in Berlin.
While Mr Blinken warned against a revival of Cold War tensions and a return to “dangerous and unstable times”, Mr Lavrov’s deputy, Sergei Ryabkov, played the tough guy in Moscow, posturing: “We’re not afraid of anyone, even not of the US.”
After the talks finished, Mr Blinken warned that the US and its allies would deliver a “swift, severe and united response” if Russia attacked Ukraine.
The issue of Ukraine’s exclusion from Nato has been a long-standing obsession for Mr Putin, who bitterly remembers the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union under his predecessor Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s as “a decade of humiliation” in which Bill Clinton’s US “imposed its vision of order on Europe (including in Kosovo in 1999) while the Russians could do nothing but stand by and watch”, according to diplomatic relations expert James Goldgeier.
Mr Yeltsin did write to Mr Clinton in September 1993 expressing similar concerns, however, saying: “We understand, of course, that any possible integration of East European countries into Nato will not automatically lead to the alliance somehow turning against Russia but it is important to take into account how our public opinion might react to that step.”
To address those anxieties, the Nato-Russia Founding Act was signed in 1997, a political agreement explicitly stating that: “Nato and Russia do not consider each other as adversaries.”
The formation of the Nato-Russia Council followed in 2002.
But Mr Putin is nevertheless said to begrudge what he regards as the alliance’s gradual extension eastwards, which saw ex-Soviet satellites Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland join in 1999, followed by Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia in 2004.
He chooses to interpret the recruitment of these nations as the US breaking a promise allegedly made by its then-secretary of state James Baker to Mikhail Gorbachev during a visit to Moscow in February 1990 to discuss German reunification following the fall of the Berlin Wall.
“There would be no extension of Nato’s jurisdiction for forces of Nato one inch to the east,” Mr Baker is supposed to have pledged to Mr Gorbachev, according to Russian officials, although the quote is heavily disputed and the latter denied the topic was ever discussed in an October 2014 interview with the Kommersant newspaper.
Mr Putin has nurtured his grudge ever since regardless, no doubt keen to foster anti-Western sentiment at home and consolidate his powerbase, and has strongly opposed both Georgia and Ukraine joining the alliance.
“It is obvious that Nato expansion does not have any relation with the modernisation of the alliance itself or with ensuring security in Europe,” he said at the Munich Security Conference in 2007. “On the contrary, it represents a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust.”
The following April, attending a Nato summit in Bucharest, he was even more emphatic: “No Russian leader could stand idly by in the face of steps toward Nato membership for Ukraine. That would be a hostile act toward Russia.”
Four months later, Mr Putin invaded Georgia, destroying the country’s armed forces, occupying two autonomous regions and humiliating a president, Mikheil Saakashvili, who had openly courted Nato membership, actions that brought fresh international condemnation.
For its part, Nato’s official stance remains that “a sovereign, independent and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law, is key to Euro-Atlantic security”.
It points out that its associations with the country date back to the disintegration of the USSR and that cooperation has had to be intensified in light of Russian regional aggression in 2014, when it annexed the Crimea Peninsula and supported a separatist insurgency following the ousting of Putin ally Viktor Yanukovych, a fight that has claimed 14,000 lives in the intervening years.
For the US, Ukraine’s path to Nato membership is less clear cut.
Mr Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as recently as 8 June 2021 that “we support Ukraine membership in Nato” but his deputy, Wendy Sherman, was cagier when she addressed the issue on Wednesday, saying only: “Together, the United States and our Nato allies made clear we will not slam the door shut on Nato’s open door policy - a policy that has always been central to the Nato alliance.”
Mr Biden, the former top Democrat and later chair of that same committee, had previously believed that turning former Soviet republics into Nato allies marked “the beginning of another 50 years of peace” but has since pivoted to scepticism about US involvement in far-flung “Forever Wars”, hence the hurried withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer after 20 years of peace-keeping occupation.
He is also known to be determined to see political and judicial corruption stamped out in Ukraine and reluctant to further provoke the Russian bear, having lived much of his life through the era of mutually-assured destruction, especially given that the security threat posed by China is a current priority that cannot be ignored.
Without Ukraine being part of the alliance, the US and Nato are under no treaty obligation to come to its aid should Russia attack, whereas those security assurances are extended to nearby Baltic states like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania since they signed up with the 2004 induction.
All three could become potential future targets for Russian annexation, incidentally, if current aggressions are allowed to proceed unchecked and leave Mr Putin feeling emboldened.
That said, Mr Biden’s sabre-rattling rhetoric strongly suggests he is prepared to intervene in some form, even if that does not mean American boots on the ground.
The US provided Ukraine with $200m in defensive military aid on Wednesday (and has given $2.5bn since 2014) while the Pentagon has said it already has 200 National Guard troops stationed in the country already.
Tough economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation could follow.
If it were to offer more direct defensive resources, the US would be in a position to provide Ukraine with a broad range of assistance free of charge, from air defence, anti-tank and anti-ship systems, electronic warfare and cyber defence systems to supplies of small arms and artillery ammunition.
“The key to thwarting Russian ambitions is to prevent Moscow from having a quick victory and to raise the economic, political, and military costs by imposing economic sanctions, ensuring political isolation from the West, and raising the prospect of a prolonged insurgency that grinds away the Russian military,” Seth Jones and Philip Wasielewski wrote in an analysis of the situation for the Center for Strategic and International Studies last week.
But the only man who really knows what will happen next is Mr Putin.


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Ukraine crisis: Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline won’t open if Russia invades, says US – live coverage

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Will There Be a War Over Ukraine? 13 Putin Watchers Weigh In
Here’s what Biden needs to know about the famously unpredictable Russian president — and Washington’s best next moves.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sought a confrontation with the West and he got one. So now what?
Diplomatic efforts to defuse the crisis appear to have stalled. In the past month, Putin has escalated his long proxy war in two eastern provinces and accelerated a massive Russian troop buildup that now surrounds Ukraine on three sides. The United States, in response, has put thousands of troops on high alert, while European allies are sending weapons and ammunition to Ukraine and NATO’s eastern flank. President Joe Biden is weighing a range of further measures, from severe economic sanctions to sending troops.
At the center of it all is Putin, an enigmatic leader with a quest for power and a deep resentment of the West. With the world watching for a possible war, we reached out to the smartest Russia and Putin watchers we know to ask what might be next — and what the U.S. should do.
These observers are the first to tell you that Putin is impossible to predict — but we asked them to do it anyway. Some said they expect Putin to invade, while others believe he is likely to give diplomacy more time. Some pointed to key experiences in Putin’s personal history that could impact how the crisis plays out. And when asked how Biden should respond, our experts offered a wide spectrum of options, from sending more troops into the region to taking Russia’s concerns more seriously to toning down the rhetoric from Washington.
Here’s what they said.


What do you expect Putin to do next?

Shevtsova:
President Putin has become a “Master of Suspense” — Hitchcock would be jealous! Suspense provokes confusion in the West, whereas war could unite the West. So far, escalation has worked, forcing the West to look for a deal with the Kremlin. Putin’s challenge now is to prevent suspense from turning into a bluff. In the end he will have to choose between war and farce — which means humiliation, and he is not ready for that.

Kolesnikov: I’m not sure that Putin knows himself what his next step will be. We are used to judging him as a rational man, but he is a man of emotions, and dark emotions. That is how he took Crimea. Even if negotiations and/or the understandable economic consequences of invading Ukraine deter him rationally, he may suddenly make a personal, irrational decision. For now, it is possible that he could recognize the independence of the pro-Russia separatist republics in Ukraine as a substitute or prelude to an invasion.

Menon: Despite the prevailing pessimism, I believe the failed Geneva talks and continuing Russian buildup have concentrated minds, opening several diplomatic channels (U.S.-Russia, U.K.-Russia, Germany-Russia, the Russia-NATO Council), improving prospects for diplomacy. So, I expect Putin to wait, assess the results, keep his powder dry, but not rush to invade Ukraine.

McKew: Putin will continue blackmailing us. Even with no attack, there is a new security reality in the region; we are debating things that were not debatable before the escalation. Russia keeps inching their geopolitical vision forward upon the West and it is very possible that we will lose if we do not stand and fight now — we choose shame instead of war, but end up getting both, to borrow from the Churchill quotation.

Talbott: He’ll wait to see what comes from the diplomacy while preparing for a blitz if the talks fail.

Hill: With Putin it’s always important to expect the unexpected. He makes sure that he has a range of options for action and different ways of leveraging a situation to exploit weakness. If all our attention is on Ukraine, then his next move might be somewhere else to throw us off balance and see how we react.

Graham: Putin wants to break the West’s will to resist his security demands by keeping it in a state of nervous tension as it tries to fathom what his next move might be. So far, Putin has used the threat of force deftly to compel the West to engage in talks. Putin will continue down the diplomatic track as long as he feels he is making progress, while continuing his menacing actions in and around Ukraine. You get more out of diplomacy if you have a powerful military force lurking in the background.

Farkas: I do believe that there is an 80 percent chance or higher that he will use his military forces to seize another part of Ukraine. I also am concerned that he will escalate in other parts of the world like Syria.

Galeotti: So far, at least, the Russians seem to feel there is value in continuing the dialogue, so for the moment I anticipate a mix of some moves to ratchet up the pressure — like the recent cyberattacks on Ukraine and the forthcoming naval exercises off Ireland — while seeing what, if anything, they may be able to get from the West.

Getmanchuk: Putin has made himself a hostage of his own strategy, imposing his ultimatum about NATO enlargement and threatening to invade Ukraine. If this is not met by the West (and especially the U.S.), he will be forced to react soon. What kind of reaction it will be, we can only guess.

Frye: As other tools for legitimating his rule — economic performance, foreign policy success, personal charisma, and propaganda — have become less persuasive, Putin has come to rely more heavily on the security services and more moderate elites have been sidelined. As the hawks rule the roost in the Kremlin, it is hard to imagine that the voices of restraint in Moscow will prevail. Because I expect the U.S. to stick with its commitment to NATO’s open door policy, I think it is more likely than not that Putin will significantly expand Russia’s military action inside Ukraine if negotiations stall.


What would surprise people to know about Putin?

Graham:
That he is not an evil genius driven by hatred of the West and its values. Rather, in his foreign and domestic policies, he fits well within the traditions of Russian statehood and foreign policy strategy. Located on a vast territory with few formidable physical barriers and a harsh, unforgiving climate, Russia has historically sought security in strict internal control and in pushing its borders as far as possible from its heartland. In strategic terms, Russian expansion is defensive, although it clearly looks offensive and aggressive to those peoples who have been compelled to provide Russia its strategic depth. This is the drama that is playing itself out in Ukraine today.

Hill: Putin was extremely proficient at judo as a young man and competed at the national level. He approaches domestic and international confrontations like a tournament. Even if you don’t win every bout, it’s your overall performance that counts. You don’t have to be the strongest to win and you can intimidate your opponent and gain advantage just by the way you step on the mat and secure your first grip.

Getmanchuk: Russia is the only country in the world whose official narratives portray Ukraine as a military power that is able to create a threat or even attack Russia. In fact, the country in the world that most desperately needs security guarantees today is not Russia, but Ukraine.

Talbott: Remember: as a young KGB officer in East Germany during the disintegration of the USSR, Putin was not a spy but a counterspy. His job was to be suspicious, and his machismo is a disguise for fear of the West.

Pifer: People tend to portray Putin as a master strategist. I believe he is a good tactician but question whether he is a master of strategy. Look what his strategy toward Ukraine has produced: It has pushed Ukraine away from Russia and toward the West; President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who was ambivalent about NATO when he took office, now sees it as key to Ukraine’s security; the Ukrainian public increasingly supports joining NATO; NATO and the EU are relatively unified in support for Ukraine; and Finland and Sweden now insist that NATO’s open door remain open. That strategy has been a massive fail for Russian interests.

Menon: Putin’s use of military means abroad — Ukraine in 2014-15, Syria after 2015 and Kazakhstan most recently — has not in fact been reckless or heedless to risks, though that’s generally not how he’s portrayed in the West.

Shevtsova: For me as a Russian, the most surprising thing is that the West is surprised by every Kremlin gambit when Putin’s litany of grievances was a clear sign of what was coming years ago. What we still do not know is how Russia will resolve its cognitive dissonance — 80 percent of respondents to recent polls want to normalize relations with the West, but 50 percent blame the U.S and NATO for the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine.

Oliker: The Russians don’t think they’re the bad guys. They think they are doing everything they do to protect and advance their own interests and security, and that this is what everyone does, and indeed how foreign policy works.

Frye: Despite Putin’s statement that Ukraine is “not a real country,” 80 percent of Russians in regular surveys over the last 15 years would prefer to see normal relations with Ukraine and only 20 percent prefer unification. Public opinion also suggests that Russians are rather sensitive to casualties. The Kremlin has taken this into account in its military tactics in Georgia, Syria, Crimea, and Eastern Ukraine. These sensitivities are insufficient to prevent further Russian military incursion in Ukraine today where the stakes are vastly higher, and the public overwhelmingly blames NATO for the standoff, but they may complicate an invasion scenario if things go badly.

McKew: It doesn’t matter what we know about Putin or Russia when we do nothing in response to Russian actions.


Is Putin himself responsible for the Ukraine crisis, or is it driven by larger forces?

Galeotti:
Putin is not just Putin; he is also representative of a cohort of like-minded Russians, the last gasp of Homo Sovieticus, people who have not really got their heads round the end of the empire and superpower status and who believe the West is actively hostile. And, to be blunt, they do have some grounds for this, in that the West for too long did mishandle its relationship with Russia. Moscow feels it only gets noticed and given any respect when it causes trouble for the West, so perhaps we ought not be surprised that it causes us trouble.

Kolesnikov: Putin responded to Russians’ dormant demand for a lost sense of great power. But in doing so, he artificially inflamed pseudo-patriotic sentiments. What is happening now is entirely his and his inner circle’s responsibility, obsessed with conspiracy theories and resentment.

Pifer: The Kremlin is responsible for the current crisis. They have sought to frame this as a NATO-Russia crisis brought about by NATO enlargement. But the last country that bordered Russian territory to join the Alliance did so in 2004. So why the crisis now? It’s very much Kremlin concern about Ukraine.

Shevtsova: Putin is the key decision-maker in Russian foreign policy. However, his decisions are influenced by two factors. First, Russia’s personalized power system requires an enemy, in order to consolidate society behind the leader. The second factor is the crisis and demoralization of the West, which invites Moscow to flex its muscles.

Oliker: Russia’s interests and goals, and its attitude towards both Ukraine and Europe more generally, have been remarkably consistent over time, and under a variety of Russian leaderships. This said, Putin does have a very specific style, and his very long tenure at the helm has led to a very personalized and centralized system of decision-making. So while Russia’s goals vis-a-vis Ukraine and Europe are largely independent of Putin, the way Russia is pursuing them at present are fairly specific to Vladimir Putin and his power structures.

Hill: The bottom line is that Moscow believes Washington took advantage of its weakness after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and wants to change the current security arrangements in Europe, including the preeminence of NATO. Putin believes the U.S. is now weak and Russia has a unique opportunity to force change on its terms.

McKew: What we see now is the traditional Russian/Soviet way of operating, it’s just that we chose to forget this in between crises. Only now, Russia has deglobalized, developed tools to reduce their dependence on the West; this allows them to more completely ignore the rules-based international order.


What’s Biden’s best move at this point?

Hill:
Putin and Russian propaganda have effectively depicted the U.S. and NATO as the aggressors and Ukraine as a threat to Russian security. He has put the onus on the U.S. to respond to Russian demands in Europe otherwise Moscow will be “justified” in taking military action. Biden needs to turn the tables on Putin; secure international condemnation of Russian threats and actions at the U.N. and in other institutions; enlist global support for Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty; and tie further negotiations with Russia on European security arrangements to Moscow de-escalating the situation by demonstrably pulling back forces recently deployed to regions bordering Ukraine.

Galeotti: This crisis is not just about hard-nosed geopolitical calculations of power and spheres of influence. It is also rooted in the fears, resentments and angers of Putin and his circle. There is a sharp limit on how effective threats of economic sanctions are as a deterrent. So give the Kremlin some of what it feels is the “respect” it deserves. Cut down on the macho rhetoric coming from D.C., that at best sounds hollow in Moscow and at worst is construed as a threat. Concentrate on keeping Moscow talking, not least because these conversations offer the best chance to get a sense of Putin’s real objectives and appetite for risk.

Talbott: On an issue this serious, the president should deliver a cogent address from his desk in the Oval Office to the American people and the rest of the world.

Farkas: President Biden has managed to avoid military action from Putin until this moment, but it may not last and so he needs to bolster our deterrence in order to increase the likelihood that diplomacy can prevail. He needs to rally the international community at the United Nations, to send air and maritime defense support at the strategic level to Ukraine, and to think creatively and seize the initiative from Putin. That means taking economic, political or military action outside of Europe to throw Putin off balance. It means releasing information about Putin’s corruption and that of the allies around him.

Pifer: The Biden administration has set the correct framework: Try to extend the diplomatic path while making clear the costs of a Russian military assault — more punitive sanctions, more Western military assistance to Kyiv, and a bolstering of NATO presence on its eastern flank. It’s good to see the administration increasing military assistance to Ukraine (though they might provide it more visibly, as the U.K. did with a Royal Air Force mini-airlift). The Pentagon appears to be preparing for an order to move some troops to Europe.

Kolesnikov: Biden doesn’t have good options. Combining containment with attempts to talk business (e.g., not placing missiles in Europe, etc.), with a firm determination not to talk with Putin on his terms about the spheres of influence (20th century thinking) is all he can do.

Getmanchuk: U.S. officials have spoken of “nothing on Ukraine without Ukraine.” I encourage them to be even more forthright: No decisions about Ukraine’s future should be taken without Ukraine’s involvement. Second, Washington should clearly demonstrate to Putin that as long as Joe Biden is president of the United States, Ukraine will be high on the priority list and will not be sold out. I simply refuse to accept that there is nobody among world politicians with the nerve and courage to outgame one authoritarian ruler who has been successfully blackmailing the democratic world for years.

Shevtsova: It depends on Biden’s goal: Is it to prevent Russian military action against Ukraine or to prevent further Russian suspense exercises? Western unity, and its readiness to accept some pain of its own, can stop the Kremlin’s military brinkmanship game of “who blinks first” — for now. But it can’t prevent the Kremlin from continuing to try to disrupt Western unity and coherence.

McKew: To win ideologically, we need success in Ukraine. Our goals: to defend our allies, NATO, Western security and the rule of law, and to lead democracies by standing up for them. On Russia: an embargo on any arms trade (both import and export); an embargo on oil; an embargo on nuclear cooperation. For Ukraine: military/technical support, especially for air defense systems; a Marshall-style plan to bolster the Ukrainian economy. For the Baltics, Baltic Sea, frontline NATO members and the Black Sea: forward deploy men and materiel now to provide massive security guarantees. This will signal to both Russia and China that our friends will not be left dangling.

Graham: Biden needs to keep Russia engaged on the diplomatic track. To do that, he will have to address head-on Russia’s principal demand, an end to further NATO expansion eastward. The challenge is to find a formula that meets Russia’s minimal security requirement that Ukraine not escape its orbit irretrievably while remaining faithful to core American interests and principles about the rights of sovereign nations. That formula cannot be worked out in the public glare that would accompany formal negotiations. So the White House needs to create a confidential channel to the Kremlin.

Oliker: Biden is largely on the right track. The two approaches most likely to avert war — giving Russia what it wants or credibly threatening to engage NATO forces on Ukraine’s behalf — are both unacceptable to Western states. The only thing left, therefore, is to keep talking and impress upon Russia that the costs of further aggression will be truly painful. At the same time, the Biden administration must communicate to Moscow that Western states recognize that the current security order in Europe serves no one’s security adequately. If Russian forces move away from Ukraine, the U.S. and its allies should agree to implement measures, including limitations on deployments and activities for all parties, that can help lay the groundwork for a new order that does a better job. But the administration must recognize that this approach may fail, in which case they will have to take the measures they threaten, accept the attendant costs and risks, and prepare for the next crisis.


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С сожалением и понятными пожеланиями, Dimitriy.
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Добавлено: 27.01.2022 23:20  |  #148514
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Путин почтил память жертв блокады Ленинграда

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Президент Владимир Путин посетил Пискаревское мемориальное кладбище в Санкт-Петербурге и почтил память жителей и защитников Ленинграда — жертв блокады, которая закончилась ровно 78 лет назад.
Глава государства возложил цветы к братской могиле, в которой похоронен его брат, умерший ребенком в блокаду. Затем он прошел по центральной аллее мемориала и возложил венок к подножию монумента "Мать-Родина".

На Пискаревском кладбище покоятся примерно полмиллиона жителей и защитников Ленинграда, это крупнейшее братское захоронение Второй мировой войны. До сих пор удалось установить имена только примерно 150 тысяч из них, хотя поиски продолжаются.
Блокада Ленинграда началась 8 сентября 1941 года и длилась почти 900 дней. Единственный путь, по которому в город доставляли продовольствие, — Дорога жизни, проложенная по льду Ладожского озера.
Cуровой зимой 1941-1942 годов в Ленинграде ежедневно умирали несколько тысяч человек, а общее число жертв составляет, по разным данным, от 400 тысяч до полутора миллионов человек. Так, на Нюрнбергском процессе фигурировало число 632 тысячи человек. Только три процента из них погибли от бомбежек и артобстрелов, остальные — от голода.
Блокаду прорвали 18 января 1943-го, а полностью сняли 27 января 1944-го. Это День воинской славы России.
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Большое интервью Сергея Лаврова российским радиостанциям: прямая трансляция
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Министр иностранных дел России Сергей Лавров 28 января в 11.05 даст большое интервью четырем российским радиостанциями: «Комсомольской правде», «Спутнику», «Эхо Москвы» и «Говорит Москва».
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В Кремле ответили на намеки США о возможном отъезде посла Антонова
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Намеки американской стороны на возможный отъезд посла России Анатолия Антонова — серьезная угроза, заявил пресс-секретарь президента Дмитрий Песков.
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Ответ Министра иностранных дел Российской Федерации С.В.Лаврова на вопрос СМИ, Москва, 27 января 2022 года
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Вопрос: Вы получили ответ американцев на российские предложения по гарантиям безопасности. Что в нем? Какая реакция? Э.Блинкен заявил, что они не хотят, чтобы переданный материал предавался гласности. Что решила российская сторона?

С.В.Лавров: Думаю, что содержание ответа в самое ближайшее время станет известно широкой общественности. Как нам сказали американские коллеги (хотя они и предпочитают, чтобы документ остался для конфиденциального дипломатического диалога), он согласован со всеми союзниками США и украинской стороной. Нет никаких сомнений, что в самое ближайшее время он «утечет»?

Что касается содержания документа. Там есть реакция, позволяющая рассчитывать на начало серьезного разговора, но по второстепенным темам. По главному вопросу в этом документе позитивной реакции нет. Главным вопросом является наша четкая позиция о недопустимости дальнейшего расширения НАТО на Восток и размещения ударных вооружений, которые могут угрожать территории Российской Федерации. Эта позиция сложилась не на пустом месте. Как вы знаете, вопросы о нерасширении или расширении НАТО (кому как хочется и как нравится) – давняя история. В начале 1990-х гг., в 1990 г., когда объединялась Германия и решались вопросы европейской безопасности, нам клятвенно обещали не расширять НАТО ни на дюйм восточнее р.Одер. Эти факты хорошо известны, изложены во многих мемуарах деятелей Великобритании, США, Германии. Однако сейчас, когда эта тема стала обсуждаться весьма остро, нам сначала сказали, что заверения были устные. Потом, когда мы показали мемуарную литературу, наши западные партнеры стали ссылаться на то, что это было не совсем серьезно, их не так поняли. Совсем не «по-взрослому» стали объяснять свою линию на безоглядное расширение Альянса.

Теперь же, когда мы предъявляем не устные обещания, а письменные документы, под которыми подписались лидеры всех стран, входящих в ОБСЕ, включая президента США (Стамбульская декларация 1999 г., Астанинская декларация 2010 г.), нашим западным партнерам приходится уже выкручиваться из более серьезной ситуации. Что я имею в виду: и в том, и в другом документе записано, что мы все привержены принципу неделимости безопасности и обязуемся свято его соблюдать. Этот принцип четко сформулирован. В нем два главных взаимосвязанных подхода. Первый: признается право каждого государства свободно выбирать военные союзы. Второй: обязательство каждого государства не укреплять свою безопасность за счет безопасности других. Иными словами – право выбора союзов четко обусловлено необходимостью учитывать интересы безопасности любого другого государства ОБСЕ, в том числе Российской Федерации.

Показательно, что сейчас, когда на наши предложения договориться о юридически обязывающих гарантиях в Евроатлантике реагируют западные коллеги, они всегда призывают выполнять согласованные принципы, касающиеся архитектуры безопасности в Евратлантике. Тут же говорят: это означает, что НАТО имеет право расширяться, никто не вправе запретить натовцам рассматривать обращения любой другой страны. Принцип, согласно которому нельзя укреплять свою безопасность за счет безопасности других, сознательно замалчивается. Ни Стамбульская, ни Астанинская декларации нашими западными партнерами в дискуссиях о евробезопасности, которые сейчас проходят, не упоминаются. Старательно обходятся стороной. Мы такое положение принять не можем. Если про 1990-е гг. нам объясняли отсутствием письменных обязательств о нерасширении НАТО, теперь эти письменные обязательства у нас есть. Они были подтверждены в рамках ОБСЕ не единожды, в том числе на высшем уровне. Мы сейчас будем делать основной упор на разъяснение этой лукавой позиции наших западных коллег.

В Женеве, когда мы с Э.Блинкеном вели переговоры, я спрашивал, как они могут объяснить свою позицию, согласно которой рассматривают обязательства, принятые в рамках ОБСЕ, исключительно как «меню». Из него они выбирают только то, что «вкусно» для них. То, что они обязались делать с точки зрения интересов других, они пытаются проигнорировать и заболтать. Э.Блинкен ничего не ответил на этот вопрос, пожал плечами. И всё. Я предупредил его, как и наших других коллег, что в самое ближайшее время мы направим им официальный запрос с требованием объяснить, почему они выдергивают из своих собственных обязательств только один пункт, а условия соблюдения этого любимого для них пункта они пытаются игнорировать. Это будет официальный запрос всем странам, чьи лидеры подписывали Стамбульскую и Астанинскую декларации. Надеюсь, в этом случае не потребуется значительного времени, чтобы объяснить, почему Запад занимает именно такую позицию.

В остальном сейчас изучаем ответ, который получили от американцев. Как заявил сам Э.Блинкен, он согласован с украинцами и другими западными странами, союзниками США. Одновременно получили ответ по линии Североатлантического альянса, от Генерального секретаря Й.Столтенберга. Рассматриваем два документа в комплексе, с учетом того, что они являются реакцией на проекты договора и соглашения, распространенных нами в декабре 2021 г. После межведомственного согласования будем докладывать Президенту В.В.Путину. Он будет принимать решение о наших дальнейших шагах.


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Russia pessimistic on US response to demands, says Sergey Lavrov
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Russia sees “no positive reaction” from the U.S. on Moscow’s main security demands, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Thursday, adding that President Vladimir Putin would “decide on our next steps,” according to Russian media Interfax.
The comments come a day after the U.S. and NATO delivered their private reply to recent Russian demands for far-reaching security guarantees — including a withdrawal of NATO forces from Eastern Europe and hard assurances that Ukraine will never join NATO.
Lavrov’s remarks echo comments from Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, who said that the U.S. responses did not provide “much cause for optimism.”
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is hopeful that Russia will remain engaged in diplomatic negotiations for at least the next two weeks.
During a visit to Copenhagen with Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod on Thursday, Kuleba said “the good news is that advisers agreed to meet in Berlin in two weeks, which means that at least for the next two weeks, Russia is likely to remain on the diplomatic track,” he said.
On Wednesday, political advisers from Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany met in Paris for talks, in an attempt to find a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis. Russia has amassed 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine and Western allies fear an invasion.
Former Russian President and senior security official Dmitry Medvedev said he hoped that a clash between NATO and Russia “never happens.”
“It would be the most dramatic, simply catastrophic scenario,” he told the Russian news agency RIA.


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27 янв. 2022 г.
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Biden’s diplomats are flooding the zone on Russia. But even some allies aren’t convinced.
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Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been talking to all the usual suspects as the United States rallies other countries to stare down a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Britains, Frances and Germanys of the world are, of course, on that list.
But Ukraine’s plight also has come up in Blinken’s conversations with some less obvious countries: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, for instance. Brazil, too. Blinken and other Biden administration officials have even raised Ukraine with countries like India, Japan and South Korea.
The outreach underscores both the breadth and complexity of the Biden administration’s diplomatic offensive against Moscow. It is a flood-the-zone effort that has seen virtually all of Biden’s top foreign policy aides play a role, from CIA Director William Burns’ visits to Moscow and Kyiv to an array of ambassadors in Europe and beyond checking in with counterparts. The goal is to impress upon other nations that Russia’s actions could set a dangerous precedent while undermining global norms about state sovereignty.
“It’s a ‘go everywhere’ strategy because a renewed Russian invasion of Ukraine would have implications everywhere,” a senior State Department official said.
Huddling with Seoul and Tokyo reminds the Kremlin of the global reach of America’s alliance network. Chatting with the UAE and Kuwait — both major energy producers — signals to Russia that Washington has a plan for what happens if Moscow cuts off Europe’s gas.
So far, though, the diplomatic offensive doesn’t seem to be changing Vladimir Putin’s calculations. The Russian leader, who already invaded Ukraine once in 2014, appears more concerned about redrawing the global map to his liking and little moved by the machinations of a U.S. administration he intends to outlast.
Some of the countries that have been on the list of America’s outreach, such as Brazil and India, have their own economic and military relations with Russia to consider, making the Biden administration’s task tougher. Even America’s traditional allies, like Germany, are weighing their economic ties to Russia as they ponder how to respond to a potential invasion.
Russia, too, is making the rounds. Putin, though often silent, plans to chat with France’s president later this week and engaged with Italian businesses on Wednesday. And Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov have been proclaiming that it’s the Biden administration — not Moscow — that is ratcheting up the threat of war.
In Washington, “this is an administration that clearly has a bunch of red alerts running,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). Murphy is at times critical of the Biden team’s foreign policy, but praised its all-out diplomatic effort on the Ukraine crisis, adding, “I think it’s tough in Europe when you have some allies who are not convinced this is going to happen.”

Unstable and unpredictable
Putin began amassing troops along Russia’s border with Ukraine last fall. Though Putin had sent troops to the border last spring, the new deployment was significantly larger. New Russian positions also have different capabilities, including support functions and capacity for quick deployment of reservists, a senior administration official said. The situation boded ill for Biden’s desire to have a “stable and predictable” relationship with Russia.
Biden and his aides promised from the start of their tenure that they would use a “diplomacy-first” approach to such global crises — a break with the tweet-fueled rancor of the Donald Trump years. And they have sought to fulfill that pledge, all the way up to Biden himself. The president held a call with Putin in late December, warning him that he and his country would face severe economic sanctions and other penalties should they violate Ukraine’s sovereignty once again.
In the weeks since, administration officials have been on the phone, on the road and on Zoom pushing the same message while wrangling other countries on board. There have been dozens, at this point possibly hundreds, of engagements on both bilateral and multilateral levels. Everyone from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to Treasury Department officials have engaged in outreach, alongside diplomats like Blinken.
Among the busiest has been Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who took a lead role in a series of talks involving Russia, the U.S. and European and NATO countries the week of Jan. 10. Blinken, too, has hit the road and the phones, including meeting with Lavrov last week.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan and his principal deputy Jon Finer also have been engaging counterparts. Other key players include Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland and ambassadors Julianne Smith and Michael Carpenter, as well as the CIA’s Burns.
Earlier in the administration, Sullivan and Finer were considered less hawkish on Russia than Blinken and Nuland. Those differences are believed to have played out in Biden’s decision to limit the sanctions he imposed on Russia and Germany related to the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline. But foreign policy hands now say the administration appears more internally united than ever on the need to stand up to the Kremlin.
“Reality has slapped them in the face, and they realize that the Russians are the threat to them right now,” said William Taylor, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, of the administration.

Still divided
Despite the diplomatic outreach, it’s not certain that even America’s NATO and European allies are truly unified against Putin.
Different leaders have been saying different things, with some pushing forth their own views on how to engage Russia — France’s Emmanuel Macron has said the European Union should start its own dialogue with the Kremlin. On the other hand, the United Kingdom has been public about its alignment with the U.S. position; it announced weapons shipments to Ukraine and unveiled that it had learned that Russia was planning to install a puppet regime in Kyiv.
Some of the hesitation involves the fact that many of the European countries have greater energy and other trade links with Russia than the United States. Germany, which has long pushed for the Nord Stream 2 project, appears squeamish at times about coming down too hard on the Kremlin. Earlier talk of cutting Russia off from the SWIFT financial network, for instance, appears to have faded amid reported concerns from some European countries. And, as in the case of Croatia, some European countries’ internal politics can lead to mixed messaging about their commitment.
Biden admitted during a recent news conference that America’s European allies weren’t all in sync on reacting to Putin’s aggression, in part because it could involve the cyber realm or fall short of an actual military invasion. “There are differences in NATO as to what countries are willing to do depending on what happens — the degree to which they’re able to go,” Biden said.
The U.S. diplomacy on the Ukraine crisis goes well beyond Europe, however, and Biden has himself played a role in that.
Last week, he held a virtual meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio. According to a White House readout, the two “committed to work closely together to deter Russian aggression against Ukraine.” Japan’s relationship with Russia — with which it has some lingering territorial disputes — has been cooling off in recent years following repeated efforts by former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to improve them. Japan has eyed Russia’s growing ties to China with wariness.
Japan’s ambassador to the United States, Tomita Koji, told POLITICO that his country has been trying to impress upon Russia the importance of respecting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
He declined to say whether or how Japan would impose economic sanctions on Russia if it goes ahead with an invasion. “Really, each country has a different approach to the sanctions,” he said. “I don’t think there’ll be a monolithic action.”
Another major U.S. ally in the Indo-Pacific is South Korea, with whose foreign minister Blinken discussed Ukraine in mid-January. South Korea has long tried to maintain good relations with Russia while also keeping up its alliance with the United States, and where it will ultimately land should the Russia-Ukraine crisis spiral is unclear at the moment. In October, Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, praised Seoul for trying to “foster a close partnership with the Russian Federation.”
Sherman last week spoke about Ukraine with the foreign secretary of India, another Asian country that has to balance its relations with Russia, China and the United States. While the U.S. readout of the conversation mentioned Ukraine, the Indian readout, issued via Twitter, did not, a sign of the sensitivity of the matter in New Delhi. In December, India and Russia announced they were expanding their defense ties, making India’s relations with the United States somewhat more awkward despite the two countries’ shared concerns about China.
The discussions about Ukraine with countries like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are likely to deal in part with ways that those energy producing countries could help make up for any such supply shortages should Russia reduce oil and gas flows to European countries if the crisis spirals.
U.S. officials have declined to say which countries specifically they are talking to about that topic, citing the sensitivity and market impacts. On a call about the topic Tuesday, though, a senior administration official said the outreach has covered “various areas of the world — from North Africa and the Middle East to Asia and the United States.” (The U.S. is a major energy producer).
Earlier this month, Blinken spoke about “a need for a strong, united response against further Russian aggression against Ukraine” with his Brazilian counterpart. Brazil is a major oil producer, but it also has had a generally improving relationship with Russia, so it’s not certain to back Washington in a dispute with Moscow. In fact, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a bombastic, Trump-like figure, is expected to visit Russia soon.
Requests for comment from Indian, Brazilian, Emirati and Kuwaiti officials were not immediately successful.
Murphy said it’s important for the administration to lay out the example Russia could be setting if he tries to take Ukraine and finds little global resistance.
“Big countries like India and Brazil need to understand the potential consequences,” Murphy said. “In particular, India needs to understand that their problems with China could get more acute if Russia gets away with this.”
Murphy said he’s skeptical there will be a major diplomatic breakthrough, but that it was important to make the costs clear to Putin, and that that could affect how far he’s willing to go. “I think Putin is still evaluating whether a full-blown invasion is worth it,” Murphy said.


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British troops are poised to deploy to Eastern Europe within DAYS to try and match Putin's build up of forces as Russia threatens to invade Ukraine

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UK warships and fighter jets could be on the move within days to help thwart a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace is understood to have requested a range of options from military chiefs in a bid to match the build-up of Moscow’s forces.
The move is significant because it was expected to come only after an attack on Ukraine.
But following Nato talks yesterday, thousands of US troops are set to be deployed to Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. Washington has asked its allies, including Britain, to help provide additional manpower.
RAF pilots and crews have experience of policing the region’s airspace because Typhoons from the 121 Expeditionary Air Wing spent much of 2021 in Romania on manoeuvres.
Royal Navy sailors witnessed Russian aggression last summer when HMS Defender drew enemy fire in the Black Sea off Crimea.
The units will not deploy to Ukraine but to neighbouring Nato states as a deterrent.
US secretary of state Antony Blinken last night told Russia that the White House would never agree to its call to ban Ukraine from joining Nato.
He said Washington’s ambassador to Moscow had delivered a blueprint to ease tensions and avoid a Russian invasion.
But the diplomat said there had been ‘no concessions’ on Nato membership or pulling troops out of eastern Europe – another Russian demand.
‘The ball is in their court,’ Mr Blinken said. ‘It remains up to Russia to decide how to respond. We’re ready either way.’
Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance would ‘not compromise’ on its open door policy for potential members.
The former Norwegian prime minister added: ‘We are hoping for, and we are working for, a good solution, de-escalation, we are also prepared for the worst.’
He suggested a Russian buildup near Ukraine’s border had taken place ‘under the disguise’ of military exercises.
‘Russia is in the process of deploying thousands of combat troops, hundreds of aircraft, 400 air defence systems and a lot of other very advanced capabilities,’ he warned.
The reinforcement of Nato forces in former Soviet bloc countries comes after intelligence signalled a spike in Russian troop numbers in border regions.
It was calculated that Mr Putin had amassed 100,000 troops in striking distance of Ukraine but this has been upgraded to more than 120,000.
The Daily Mail has learnt that Russian paratroopers are preparing for an airborne assault rather than a ground offensive. The Kremlin has been frustrated by mild weather melting the previously icy plains and creating a quagmire.
Mid-February is considered the most likely time for any action.
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Kremlin steps up its propaganda war
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The Kremlin is pumping out disinformation saying Nato troops are in Ukraine preparing to attack Russian allies and facilities.
It claims British soldiers are involved in fighting against Moscow-backed separatists in the long-running war in the Donbas region. Security experts warn the barrage of fake news, designed to harden opinion at home and spread confusion abroad, exceeds even the levels in 2014 before Moscow seized Crimea and fostered insurgencies in the Donbas.
Maria Avdeeva said the propaganda – often starting on the messaging service Telegram – showed the gravity of the Russian threat.
‘Every day, channels on Telegram come up with new “evidence” aimed at showing how Ukrainian forces alone, or with help of allies such as the US, Canada and Britain, are preparing different sorts of provocation,’ added the analyst. ‘After that, the messages migrate to the Russian mainstream media.
‘Kremlin propaganda creates Ukraine as an enemy, an aggressor preparing an attack on the Russian people. At the same time, the disinformation campaign creates grounds for a possible full-scale military invasion.’
Pro-Kremlin bloggers claimed on Tuesday that 150 UK special forces troops had arrived in Kramatorsk, a town close to the border with the breakaway republic of Donetsk.
‘British specialists arrived at the military airport about a week ago, local residents often see them in the city, the British do not hide their affiliation,’ wrote Semyon Pegov. The notorious blogger has 179,000 followers on the Telegram channel WarGonzo.
The same source led to an item being posted by RT, the Russian state broadcaster, that alleged: ‘We’ve received intelligence reports that Ukraine is training special groups. There are six of them. The British are directly involved with them as instructors.’
Pegov was quoted as saying the teams were planning sabotage attacks on ‘social facilities’, along with terrorist assaults on chemical plants in the breakaway zones.
RT claimed the units – disguised as Russian special forces and pro-Moscow militia – would film the attacks and then a bogus Ukrainian defector would tell Western media that ‘the provocations were made by Russia’. Other sources, many thought to be fronts for Russian security services, have spread incendiary stories about Western-linked ‘sabotage groups’ preparing to attack Russia and its stooges who run Donbas.
One quoted a prominent figure in the Donetsk People’s Republic saying militants tied to Western special forces had ‘arrived on the front line’. Red Spring, a Russia-based ‘information’ agency, has reported that ‘the war in Donbas is being waged not only by the regular army of Donbas but by the British SAS and Turkish specialists’.
Tom Tugendhat, Conservative chairman of the Commons foreign affairs committee, said: ‘Lies about foreign troops, or cross-border attacks, are not just told to be believed but to provide just enough excuse for those who want to side with Moscow and Putin’s aggression that their assault on Ukraine is justified.’


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Baerbock: „Wir sind in einem sehr kritischen Moment“

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Außenministerin Annalena Baerbock (Grüne) über die Bedrohung durch Russland, Nord Stream 2 und die Rolle Deutschlands im Konflikt.

Frau Ministerin, Sie sind seit rund sieben Wochen im Amt. Wohl kein neues Regierungsmitglied – vielleicht außer dem Kanzler – wurde beim Start so aufmerksam beobachtet wie Sie. Wie würden Sie selbst Ihren Start beurteilen?
Annalena Baerbock: Es ging ja gleich turbulent los. Denn die Krisen dieser Welt richten sich nicht nach dem Terminplan einer neuen Regierung. Vom ersten Tag an haben sich alle meine Gespräche in Brüssel, Paris, Warschau und anderswo vor allem um die Bedrohung der Ukraine durch Russland gedreht. Ich hatte noch gar keine Zeit, mein Büro einzurichten.

Ihre Amtsperiode beginnt mit einer schweren internationalen Krise. Für wie gefährlich halten Sie den Konflikt zwischen der Ukraine und Russland, in dem ja auch die Nato eine Rolle spielt?
Baerbock: Wir sind in einem sehr kritischen Moment. Letzten Samstag sprach mich ein älterer Herr auf einem Marktplatz an. Er erzählte, dass er seine beiden Brüder, 17 und 18 Jahre alt, im Krieg verloren hat, und sagte: Das Allerwichtigste ist, dass es nie wieder Krieg in Europa gibt.
Und genau das ist die Verantwortung meiner Generation, die das Glück hatte, in Frieden aufzuwachsen, und das ist auch die wichtigste Aufgabe von Außenpolitik. Und genau deshalb habe ich mich von der ersten Minute meiner Amtszeit dafür eingesetzt, dass wir einen Kurs von Dialog, aber auch Härte mit Blick auf den russischen Truppenaufmarsch fahren.

Droht im gegenwärtigen Konflikt ein Krieg, der über die Ukraine und Russland hinausgehen könnte?
Baerbock: Wenn man das Schlimmste verhindern will, sollte man nicht das Schlimmste herbeireden. Daher ist es mir wichtig, alle Kanäle für Dialog zu nutzen. Jahrelang gab es keinerlei Austausch zwischen Russland und der Nato darüber, wie man gemeinsam für mehr Sicherheit sorgen kann. Nun haben wir als Bündnis gegenüber der russischen Regierung signalisiert: keinen Schritt weiter. Und es öffnet sich gerade ein kleines Fenster für Gespräche. Genau dieses müssen wir nutzen.

Der russische Präsident Wladimir Putin hat mehr als 100.000 Soldaten an der Grenze zur Ukraine konzentriert. Warum tut er das?
Baerbock: Naja, es ist schwer, es nicht als Drohung zu verstehen, wenn sich 100.000 Soldaten mit Panzern und Geschützen ohne nachvollziehbaren Grund in der Nähe der Ukraine versammeln. Aber: Diese Frage kann am Ende niemand anderes beantworten als Herr Putin selbst. Vielleicht weiß er es an manchen Tagen selbst nicht genau.
Wir müssen auf alles vorbereitet sein. Im Jahr 2022 bedeutet das für mich: gegen militärische Invasionen gewappnet, aber auch gegen hybride Angriffe wie Cyberattacken oder die Ausschaltung der Stromversorgung. Destabilisierung kann auf unterschiedlichsten Wegen erfolgen und ist ein Instrument, das gezielt zur Eskalation eingesetzt wird.

Sie sagen, Putin weiß an manchen Tagen selbst nicht, was er will. Wie meinen Sie das?
Baerbock: Wir haben in den letzten Jahren von der russischen Regierung gemischte Signale erhalten: auf der einen Seite Bestrebungen, zu einer alten geostrategischen Rolle zurückzukehren – auch mit Androhung von Gewalt wie zu Zeiten des Kalten Kriegs.
Auf der anderen Seite gibt es aber auch ein großes Interesse an verstärkter Zusammenarbeit in der russischen Wirtschaft. Beides geht aber nicht zusammen. Grundlage jeder Zusammenarbeit sind für mich das internationale Recht, insbesondere die gemeinsamen Vereinbarungen über Sicherheit. Das habe ich bei meinem Besuch in Moskau mehr als deutlich gemacht.

US-Präsident Joe Biden will mit Truppen die osteuropäischen Nato-Mitglieder stärken. Ist das richtig?
Baerbock: Diese Pläne kommen ja nicht aus heiterem Himmel. Russland hat eine Bedrohungskulisse aufgebaut durch die Truppen an der ukrainischen Grenze und auch durch Militärmanöver und Truppenverlegungen nach Belarus. Natürlich löst das gerade in Polen und den baltischen Staaten vor dem Hintergrund der Geschichte Befürchtungen aus.
Deshalb ist es so wichtig, dass wir im Nato-Bündnis Solidarität zeigen und einander beistehen. Diese Verpflichtung gilt, ohne Wenn und Aber. Bisher läuft diese Truppenverstärkung aber im Rahmen schon bekannter Planungen und der Beschränkungen, auf die wir uns selbst mit der NATO-Russland-Grundakte auferlegt haben. Für Russland ist das weder eine Neuigkeit noch eine Bedrohung.

Länder wie die USA oder Großbritannien ziehen Botschaftspersonal aus Kiew ab. Planen Sie etwas Ähnliches, sollte sich der Konflikt weiter zuspitzen?
Baerbock: Natürlich überprüfen wir kontinuierlich die Sicherheitslage an unterschiedlichen Orten dieser Welt – auch in der Ukraine. Ebenso wie unsere EU-Partner haben wir derzeit entschieden, das Botschaftspersonal in Kiew nicht zu reduzieren. Gerade jetzt ist es äußerst wichtig, die Ukraine nicht zu destabilisieren.
Wenn wirtschaftliche Akteure das Gefühl haben, die Lage in der Ukraine sei insgesamt unsicher oder instabil, wird die Bereitschaft zu Investitionen sinken. Genau das würde Putin in die Karten spielen. Deshalb war meine Botschaft in Kiew: Wir wollen die wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit mit der Ukraine ausbauen. Beispielweise durch Energie-Partnerschaften, etwa im Bereich des „grünen Wasserstoffs“.
Aber: Sofern Familienangehörige von Botschaftsmitarbeitern ausreisen wollen, übernimmt das Auswärtige Amt die Kosten.

Was kann und was will Deutschland konkret für die Lösung des Ukraine-Konflikts tun?
Baerbock: Zunächst einmal: Es ist kein Ukraine-Konflikt, sondern Russland hat im Donbas und auf der Krim die Souveränität der Ukraine verletzt und bedroht das Land weiter militärisch. Gegen diesen Bruch internationalen Rechts stehen wir solidarisch an der Seite der Menschen in der Ukraine.
Gemeinsam mit unseren europäischen Freunden und den USA sind wir auf allen Kanälen aktiv. Mit Frankreich leisten wir als Vermittler im Rahmen des Normandie-Formats – dem einzigen Ort, wo Ukraine und Russland zurzeit an einem Tisch sitzen – einen wesentlichen Beitrag zur Sicherheit der Ukraine.
In der Nato arbeiten wir daran, dass im Nato-Russland-Rat endlich wieder gesprochen wird, auch um wieder Schritte zur Abrüstung zu vereinbaren. Zudem sind wir der größte finanzielle Geber der Ukraine zur Unterstützung der Menschen und der Wirtschaft vor Ort. Denn neben der militärischen Bedrohung ist eine Gefahr ja die Destabilisierung von Innen.

Verstehen Sie, dass die deutsche Haltung bei unserem wichtigsten europäischen Verbündeten, Frankreich, nicht immer als eindeutig wahrgenommen wird?
Baerbock: Deutschland hat eine klare Position und das ist nicht nur unsere Position, sondern sie ist mit unseren Partnern abgestimmt. So einig, wie wir uns im Rat der EU-Außenminister dieser Tage sind, waren wir uns seit Langem nicht – gerade mit Blick auf unsere volle Solidarität mit der Ukraine und unsere Haltung gegenüber Russland.
Zugleich ergänzen wir uns in unseren Stärken. Deutschland ist seit Jahren der größte wirtschaftliche Geber der Ukraine, noch vor den USA. Wir helfen bei Impfstoffen, investieren im Energiesektor, unterstützen wichtige Reformprozesse im Land. Und wir haben gemeinsam mit Frankreich immer geholfen, die EU beim Thema Sanktionen zusammenzuhalten.

Aber so ganz eindeutig ist die Position der Bundesregierung nicht. Sie haben gegenüber Russland von Anfang klare Kante gezeigt. Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz folgte Ihrer Haltung immer etwas zeitversetzt.
Baerbock: Was für die EU in diesen Tagen gilt, trifft auch auf die Bundesregierung zu. In einem Team braucht man keine elf Mittelstürmerinnen, die alle dasselbe machen, sondern elf Spielerinnen, die gut miteinander können und denselben Spielplan im Kopf haben.
Ein Kanzler muss die Außenministerin nicht duplizieren – genauso wenig, wie die Außenministerin das Kanzleramt duplizieren sollte. Aber Olaf Scholz und ich sind uns in der Sache völlig einig, und ich glaube dass das inzwischen auch verstanden wird.

Kann die Verhandlungsrunde, bei der Deutschland, Frankreich, die Ukraine und Russland an einem Tisch sitzen, neue Impulse bringen?
Baerbock: Das Normandie-Format ist einer der Gesprächskanäle, um die es jetzt geht, weil es Schritt für Schritt mehr Sicherheit brächte. Russland hatte sich lange geweigert, überhaupt in den Dialog zu treten. Ja, deswegen ist es ein gutes Signal, dass man sich nun wieder an einen Tisch setzt.
Durchbrüche innerhalb weniger Tage sollten wir nicht erwarten. Aber wer redet, schießt nicht. Daher ist es fatal, die Wiederaufnahme von Dialog abzutun.

Der Botschafter der Ukraine spricht von einer historischen Verantwortung – ähnlich wie bei Israel –, die Deutschland angesichts von sechs Millionen Weltkriegstoten auf dem Gebiet der heutigen Ukraine hat. Hat er Recht, oder passt der Vergleich nicht?
Baerbock: Wir haben eine besondere historische Verantwortung gegenüber allen Ländern der ehemaligen Sowjetunion, weil Deutschland unfassbares Leid über die Menschen dort gebracht hat. Ja, deshalb haben wir auch eine historische Verantwortung, alles dafür zu tun, eine neue militärische Eskalation zu verhindern.

Der Bundeskanzler hat Russland mit „hohen Kosten“ für den Fall eines Angriffs auf die Ukraine gedroht. Was sind „hohe Kosten“?
Baerbock: Das sind wirtschaftliche, finanzielle und politische Konsequenzen, auf die wir uns mit den USA und unseren Partnern in Europa verständigt haben.

Was heißt das bitte konkret?
Baerbock: Die Liste der Handlungsmöglichkeiten ist lang. Russland müsste im Falle einer Aggression gegen die Ukraine mit harten Gegenmaßnahmen in unterschiedlichen Bereichen rechnen. Aber so wie sich Putin nicht in die Karten schauen lässt, werden wir ihm umgekehrt auch nicht den Gefallen tun, alle unsere Möglichkeiten auf den Tisch zu legen. Unser Ziel ist es aber, in Frieden in Europa zu leben. Darauf haben auch die Ukrainerinnen und Ukrainer ein Recht.

Der russische Botschafter in Deutschland hat den Bundeskanzler für dessen Haltung zur Nord Stream 2 gelobt. Finden Sie auch, dass man die Erdgas-Pipeline nur formaljuristisch und nicht politisch bewerten darf?
Baerbock: Wenn die Pipeline keine geostrategischen Auswirkungen hätte, würden wir nicht seit Jahren darüber reden. Darum hat die gesamte Bundesregierung – auch der Kanzler – noch einmal deutlich gemacht: Wenn es eine weitere militärische Eskalation gibt, liegen alle Optionen auf dem Tisch. Und dazu zählen auch Energieprojekte wie Nord Stream 2.

Wann sagt die Bundesregierung Nein zu Nord Stream 2? Wo ist die rote Linie?
Baerbock: In einer vernetzten Welt können wirtschaftliche Konsequenzen ein wirksameres Abschreckungsmittel sein als Kanonen. Unterbrochene Lieferketten – das hat die Corona-Pandemie gezeigt – können Volkswirtschaften zum Erliegen bringen. Wir haben wirksame Maßnahmen in der Schublade. Da unser Ziel eine Deeskalation ist, werden wir diese Schubladen erst dann öffnen, wenn es nötig ist.

Die Russen verlangen: Stopp der Nato-Osterweiterung. Die Nato wiederum sagt: Jedes demokratisch legitimierte Land darf selbst darüber entscheiden, welchem Bündnis es beitritt. Ist es bei derart gegensätzlichen Positionen überhaupt möglich, einen Kompromiss zu finden?
Baerbock: Derzeit steht ja überhaupt keine Nato-Osterweiterung an. In Moskau habe ich deshalb mit dem russischen Außenminister lange darüber diskutiert, worüber wir eigentlich streiten. Ich habe erklärt, dass für mich das internationale Recht und die gemeinsam getroffenen Vereinbarungen gelten, und die besagen: gemeinsame Sicherheit bei freier Bündniswahl.
Ich habe aber auch deutlich gemacht, dass wir gerne jeden Satz der verschiedenen europäischen Verträge noch einmal durchgehen können.

Gesetzt den Fall, die Ukraine ist befriedet: Wie gehen Sie mit dem Wunsch des Landes um, Mitglied der Nato zu werden?
Baerbock: Wie gesagt: Dass das derzeit nicht auf der Tagesordnung steht, weiß jeder, auch Russland. Die Menschen in der Ukraine wollen in Frieden und Sicherheit leben. Viele sind seit Jahren durch den Konflikt im Donbas von ihrer Familie getrennt. Darum geht es in der Sache - nicht um einen unmittelbar bevorstehenden Nato-Beitritt.
Deswegen ist es jetzt die allerwichtigste Aufgabe, wieder über die Umsetzung des Minsker Abkommens zu sprechen, damit die Menschen frei und in Sicherheit leben können.

Russlands Reichtum speist sich aus dem Verbrennen von Öl und Gas. Wie wollen Sie die Oligarchen auf Windkraft und Solarstrom umpolen?
Baerbock: Ich will niemanden umpolen, sondern die Klimakrise ist allgegenwärtig, und die globale Wirtschaft bereits auf den mittelfristigen Ausstieg aus fossiler Energie geeicht - auch in Russland, wie mir mein Besuch in Moskau verdeutlicht hat. Die Pläne der EU für eine CO2-Grenzausgleichssteuer nimmt man dort sehr ernst – und gerade die Energie- und Stahlbranche weiß, dass sie sich darauf einstellen muss, um wettbewerbsfähig zu bleiben.
Viele große Firmen in Russland machen deshalb von selbst Tempo bei der Umstellung auf erneuerbare Energien und Wasserstoff. Russland hat angesichts seiner schieren Größe ein immenses Potenzial für neue Geschäftsmodelle bei grünem und Waldaufforstung. Was wäre es für ein Segen, diesbezüglich auf Grundlage internationalen Rechts zusammenarbeiten zu können.

Wäre die deutsche Gasversorgung bei einem Lieferstopp von russischem Gas gefährdet?
Baerbock: Die Versorgungssicherheit in Deutschland ist gewährleistet, auch wenn wir ohne Frage im Moment noch in sehr starkem Maß von Öl- und Gasimporten aus Russland abhängig sind. Unseren Energie-Mix mit viel mehr erneuerbaren Quellen anzureichern, ist daher ein wichtiger Beitrag zu mehr Energiesicherheit.
...

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