The Donbas has dawned with new bombings. NATO continues to deny that a de-escalation is taking place. and Moscow has responded in writing to the US letter insisting that Joe Biden is not going into the background of “the main Russian concerns: the eastern expansion of NATO, which has been taking place since 1997 and that Russia asks to stop. Something that the US and NATO itself reject.
“No one is aware of the withdrawal of troops” that Moscow alleges, said the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, after the emergency meeting of EU leaders in Brussels before the EU-African Union summit: ” but what we have evidence of and what has us very worried, very worried, is the increase in fighting and heavy bombing in some parts of the border. In recent hours there has been heavy bombing “that the EU attributes to pro-Russian militias. Some militias that in turn blame Kiev for violating the ceasefire.
Borrell has stated that Russia “has started disinformation and bombing campaigns. We still believe in the diplomatic process and we will concentrate all our efforts on diplomatic activity. But, on the other hand, we have prepared a complete package of very tough sanctions.”
For its part, Russia has already responded to the letter from the United States, which in turn was a response to the one sent by Moscow at the end of last year in which it expressed concerns about security in Europe that, basically, were limited to the demand for that NATO did not continue to grow in the East, specifically Ukraine and Georgia, and, furthermore, that there were no missiles in NATO countries that were previously Warsaw Pact countries.
Both the US and NATO sent responses reaffirming NATO’s “open door” policy. Well, this Thursday, Moscow responded that, in effect, neither Washington nor the Atlantic Alliance had responded to its main concerns.
The answer has been delivered to the US ambassador in Moscow, John Sullivan, at the Russian Foreign Ministry. In that letter, the Kremlin states: “The United States has not given a constructive response to the basic elements on security guarantees. Russian proposals have been ignored. The increasing military activity of the United States and NATO directly on Russian borders is alarming” .
And Russia adds: “In the absence of a willingness on the part of the United States to agree to firm and legally binding guarantees to guarantee our security by the United States and its allies, Russia will be forced to respond, including by implementing military-technical measures.”
USA: “We see them approaching”
The Secretary of Defense of the United States, Lloyd Austin, has affirmed this Thursday at the meeting of NATO Defense Ministers in Brussels that Russia, instead of withdrawing troops, is bringing them “little by little” closer to the border with Ukraine. : “We see them slowly bringing some of those troops closer to the border. There are more combat and support planes, we even see them supplying themselves with blood. I was a soldier not long ago and I know firsthand that you don’t do this kind of thing without a reason. And you certainly don’t if you’re getting ready to pack up and go home.”
Along the same lines, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: “We are concerned that Russia is trying to stage a pretext for an armed attack against Ukraine. We don’t know what will happen, but what we do know is that Russia has accumulated the largest force we’ve seen in Europe in decades in and around Ukraine, and we also know that there are a lot of Russian spies operating in Ukraine, are present in Donbas. There are attempts to stage a pretext, false flag operations, so that they provide a excuse to invade Ukraine. I can’t go into the details of the different reports, but that is why we are monitoring what is going on so closely and why the NATO allies have exposed Russian actions, plans Russians and Russian efforts when it comes to disinformation. Because we think that makes it more difficult for them to act and invade Ukraine.”
The Kremlin, on the other hand, insists that it has no intention of invading Ukraine, even pointing out that the Americans and British had announced the invasion for Wednesday the 16th, which has not happened.
The President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, for his part, wanted to highlight this Thursday in a brief appearance without questions at the entrance of the EU-African Union summit the “absolute unanimity” of the 27 in the face of the crisis with Russia: “We have underlined the need to continue with diplomacy, with open dialogue with Russia”.