18 May 2022

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Is Europe spiraling towards its worst security crisis?

 

By Kashaf Sohail

As the military deployments on the Ukrainian border has spooked Kyiv and its allies, it sparked demands for the forces to be withdrawn, as well as warnings from the West that if Russia launched an attack, it would face terrible consequences. Although Russia does not plan to invade Ukraine however, the security talks with United States and NATO remained unsuccessful. This recent flare up is an outcome the Kremlin’s list of security demands for the West including legally binding assurances that NATO would never admit the former Soviet republic of Ukraine as a member, and that the alliance will withdraw troops from former Communist states in Central and Eastern Europe that joined after the Cold War. The US labels the demands as “non-starters” but says together with NATO it is open to talk to Russia about arms control, missile deployments, and confidence-building measures. Nevertheless, the fact that Russia-Ukraine crisis has led Europe closest to a war than it has been over thirty years is yet another example of Russia’s resurgence and USA’s decline. As the deputy foreign minister of Russia, Mr. Grushko stated “If NATO moves on to a policy of containment, then there will be a policy of counter-containment from our side,” and “If there is deterrence, there will be counter-deterrence.” Russia has not closed its door for diplomatic talks however, if the West does not comply with Russia’s demands that NATO’s presence in Eastern Europe be reduced and that Ukraine be denied future membership, it would suffer undefined consequences that will jeopardize the security of the whole European continent. The Americans and Russians said they will discuss whether or not to continue talking beyond this week. That is, unless Mr. Putin decides to claim that Washington and its allies are really not paying proper attention to Russia’s demands, and uses this week as an excuse to go to war.