How Putin got the West to reveal its cards - ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU

How Putin got the West to reveal its cards

U.S. President Joe Biden seems convinced that Russia is on the verge of launching a military attack against Ukraine. In statements based on intelligence sources, he claims that Russia will target Ukraine's capital, Kyiv. While Russia vehemently denies U.S. allegations, tensions continue to mount in Ukraine's Donbas region.

Multiple explosions of unknown origin were heard in the eastern region, which is controlled by pro-Russian forces. Both sides are accusing each other of carrying out “false flag” operations. 

According to the Russian media, the Kyiv administration has instructed the Ukrainian army to be ready to launch a military operation in Donbas. The Ukrainian government, for its part, denies these allegations.

Furthermore, Russia and Belarus have announced that they’re extending military exercises near Ukraine that were due to end Sunday, in a move that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said made him even more concerned about an imminent Russian invasion.

Meanwhile, Russia is calling on Kyiv to comply with the Minsk Protocol, which includes recognizing the autonomy of Donetsk and Luhansk, also located in Donbas, where Russian rebel forces had declared two separate republics in 2014. 

The United States, on the other hand, argues that Russia will enter Ukraine by staging fake events.

According to numerous analysts, the Ukrainian crisis began as a pretext to bring Russia's conflict with NATO to the table. 

The United States and NATO, on the other hand, maintain their firm stance that Russia's demands cannot be accepted. Germany-led NATO wings disagree with the "America-England" or "Anglo-Saxon" fractions.

The Ukrainian crisis has brought to light all the risks Russia stands to face. Tensions arising from the Russian military build-up around Ukraine exposed the disharmony and difference of opinions rife within the European Union and NATO. 

In a way, Russia has tested the waters, taking Europe’s pulse and assessing possible risks. Putin also forced the opposing front to reveal its hand by creating a smokescreen that has sown tensions for months. Now Russia knows very well who will act and how.

According to the political landscape, there can be no military option to deter Russia if it enters Ukraine. 

Several authors have stated that the U.S. and its partners imposing sanctions against Russia would be extremely costly for these countries.

According to the U.S. and its allies, the gravest embargo that will shake Russia is the cancellation of the Nord Stream-2 project, which was going to double the gas flow between Germany and Russia. 

Berlin, on the other hand, is not willing to scrap the project just because of Ukraine. 

If Russia does indeed invade Ukraine, it seems possible that sanction attempts of anti-Russian hawks in the U.S. Congress targeting Nord Stream-2 will come to fruition. 

Biden, who wanted icy relations with Europe to thaw, had suspended the sanctions imposed on Nord Stream-2 during the Trump era to please Germany.

On Feb. 7, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and U.S. President Joe Biden had a meeting at the White House. 

At a press conference held after the meeting, neither Biden nor Scholz spoke a word about sanctions on the Nord Stream-2 project. When it came to the Q&A session, journalists persistently asked: "Will the Nord Stream-2 project be canceled if Russia invades Ukraine?" Biden said he was extremely confident that the project is “over.” When journalists asked how the project would be scrapped without Germany’s approval, Biden confidently said: "I promise, we will do it."

Journalists then asked Scholz if he had made a commitment to Biden that the project would be scrapped. Although he emphasized that they would act together with the U.S. in the event that sanctions against Russia would be imposed, Scholz did not speak of “Nord Stream-2.”

Journalists then cornered the German official: "You said all options around the table.  You’re not mentioning Nord Stream 2 by name.  Don’t you think if you were to spell this out, you could win back trust as a strong ally here for the U.S.?"

It was at that very moment that Biden intervened and said: "There’s no need to win back trust.  He has the complete trust of the United States.  Germany is our— one of our most important allies in the world.  There is no doubt about Germany’s partnership with the United States. None." These questions, which had overwhelmed the duo, revealed the stark differences in their positions on this matter.

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