The president of the United States, Joe Biden, has promised with the Ukrainian leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, that Washington and its partners will defend Kiev in the event that the conflict with Russia escalates. The two leaders held a telephone conversation late on Sunday just three days after the US president and Vladimir Putin drew the red lines for key negotiations to take place in January on Ukraine and international stability in general.
“President Biden made it clear that the United States, its allies and its partners will respond decisively if Russia invades even more Ukraine,” the White House explained in a statement where he wanted to emphasize with that “even more” that it would not be an attack again, but from the escalation of an invasion that began in 2014 with its warlike deployment in Donbas and Crimea. Likewise, Washington was also firm in its support for Kiev, stating that it will defend it diplomatically through the talks that it will begin with Moscow in January in three ways: in its bilateral dialogue for strategic stability; before the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which currently mediates in the Donbas war, and in the negotiations between the two powers through the Russia-NATO Council, despite the fact that Putin has insisted on the In recent months, Kiev is part of its sphere of influence and not of the Atlantic Alliance.
In his talk with Putin on December 30, Biden warned him that the West will impose unprecedented sanctions on Russia if there is an escalation with Ukraine. “The first conversation of the year with the president of the United States demonstrates the special nature of our relationship,” Zelenski said on Twitter. “The joint actions of both countries and their partners to maintain peace in Europe, prevent future escalation, make reforms and desoligarquizar Ukraine, “added the president.
The crisis resurfaced in November with the deployment of more than 100,000 Russian military personnel around the borders of Ukraine. Earlier, early last year there was another similar escalation in the Donbas line of contact, tempered by the June meeting between Biden and Putin in Geneva. However, US intelligence reported in the fall of a new massive presence of troops and artillery along the entire Ukraine border whose plan could be an invasion by three fronts: Crimea, the east of the country and the border area with Belarus, whose The regime caused another crisis with Poland in parallel by sending thousands of immigrants from the Middle East to the border.
Putin and Biden spoke again by video conference on December 7. In those talks, the Russian president reiterated the non-negotiable points, including that NATO should not expand further east, and proposed to negotiate security guarantees for Russia. And on December 21, in a meeting with the Defense Ministry, Putin stressed to the high command his great concern: according to his reports, the United States is on the verge of developing hypersonic weapons like the Russian ones and, under this cover, “it could arm the extremists of the neighboring country and push them against Russia, against some Russian regions in particular … we will say Crimea ”.
Zelensky spoke precisely in his New Year’s speech on the peninsula annexed by Russia in March 2014 after the deployment of unidentified soldiers, known as “kind men”, and on Donbas, at war against Kiev since April of that year with military and financial support from Moscow. “Here are our soldiers. I believe that photos will be taken (in 2022) in peaceful Donetsk, Lugansk and Crimea, ”the president proclaimed to his population, according to the speech published by the Ukrainian presidency on his website.
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A few days earlier, in a meeting with foreign diplomatic missions, Zelenski stressed that he hopes to obtain a specific time frame this year for Ukraine’s integration into NATO. Both that country and Georgia received that promise at the 2008 Atlantic Alliance meeting in Bucharest. However, the guarantees of stability required by the Kremlin from the White House specify that the organization must renounce its expansion to Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, territories that Moscow considers to be under its sphere of influence, but that Washington defends in turn as sovereign states with their own decision-making capacity. “President Biden stressed the US commitment to the sovereignty of Ukraine and its territorial integrity,” underlined the statement from the White House on his conversation with Zelenski.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.