Etiket arşivi: Ukraine

The Invasion of Ukraine, Another Challenge for the China-US Relationship

March 21, 2022

On March 18, Presidents Biden and Xi Jinping held a two-hour-long video conference. To put their meeting in perspective, one does not have to go back all the way to China’s “century of humiliation”, but a brief chronological look at the recent past, particularly the last year could be useful.

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Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine and the Montreux Convention

March 3, 2022

The Turkish Government has decided to close the Turkish Straits to all warships as a result of Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine. So, I thought that an updated version of a post I had written two years ago could be timely.

Two years ago, I was trying to draw attention to the risks of the politically, financially, and environmentally extravagant, and totally unnecessary “Canal Istanbul” project. With the decline of the Turkish economy, the project is unfortunately not dead yet, but it has moved way down on the Government’s agenda. Today, not only Turkey’s but the world’s attention is focused on the Russian offensive against Ukraine. Thus, the Montreux Convention has once again become a topic of interest. And this may prove the last nail in the coffin for the Canal Istanbul project.

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Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

March 1, 2022

In my last post, I said that President Putin would probably resist ordering a full-scale invasion of Ukraine because a bloody conflict will zero out his theory about the Russians and Ukrainians being one people. I proved wrong. It seems that the risks of leaving lasting scars on the Ukrainian psyche, the potential loss of life, and suffering did not stop him. Thus, despite repeated denials of any intention to take military action, President Putin ordered a premeditated full-scale invasion of Ukraine in defiance of international law, the UN Charter, and Russia’s own definition of the so-called rules-based international order. In the long term, even the people of Russia may see this invasion, not as a glorious conquest but as a sad chapter of Russian history.

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Ukraine Crisis: Is Diplomacy Reaching a Dead-end?

February 14, 2022

Last week, Presidents Macron and Putin had a phone call. According to the Kremlin readout of the call, “at the French side’s initiative”, President Putin once again drew attention to the absence of a substantive response from the United States and NATO to the Russian initiatives. He also stressed the reluctance of the leading Western powers to encourage the Kyiv authorities to implement the Minsk agreements.

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Ukraine Crisis, the Challenge for the Normandy Format

February 10, 2022

Since there is no likelihood of Russia and the West coming to an agreement soon on the Russian proposals for a new security architecture in Eurasia, the standoff at Ukraine’s borders has become a stress test for all the involved, but primarily for the people and the leadership of Ukraine.

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Ukraine Crisis: A Reminder from the Middle East

February 7, 2022

The Russia-West standoff over Ukraine continues. The US and its European allies are warning of a serious risk of a Russian offensive against Ukraine. Moscow is claiming that the US is trying to pull Russia into an armed conflict over Ukraine that Russia does not want. The US is sending troops to Germany, Poland, and Romania. The West is waiting for the Russian response to its written proposals which Moscow says focus only on secondary issues. Lines of argument and underlying rationale are getting increasingly blurred and confusing.

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US/NATO Talks with Russia, Episode 2 Begins

January 31, 2022

On January 26, the US and NATO delivered their written responses to Russia’s security demands in Eurasia. A day later, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the media that the responses offer grounds for serious talks only on matters of secondary importance; that there is no positive response to the main issue which is continued NATO enlargement towards the east and the deployment of strike weapons that can pose a threat to Russian territory.

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Intermission in Russia-US Talks

January 22, 2022

I had concluded an earlier post on the Ukraine crisis with the following:

“In Russia, President Putin is at the helm, steering a steady course. 

“In the West, the picture is more complicated. What is clear is that 2022 will be a tough year for Western diplomacy.”[i]

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Russia-US/NATO Talks, Episode 1

January 17, 2022

In mid-December 2021, Russia handed the West two draft documents, “Agreement on Measures to Ensure the Security of the Russian Federation and Member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization”[i] and “Treaty Between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Security Guarantees”[ii].

In their phone call of December 30, Presidents Biden and Putin agreed to the sequence of Strategic Stability Dialogue starting on the 9th and 10th in Geneva, a NATO-Russia Council (NRC) meeting on the 12th, and an OSCE meeting on the 13th. The three sets of talks are now behind.

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Russia-West Negotiations Start

January 10, 2022

With the New Year and Christmas celebrations behind, the world is back to the realities of the day. And the new year’s first surprise was the turmoil in Kazakhstan.

In their phone call of December 30, Presidents Biden and Putin had agreed to the sequence of Strategic Stability Dialogue starting on the 9th and 10th in Geneva, a NATO-Russia Council conversation on the 12th, and an OSCE meeting on the 13th.

Thus, during the past week, Secretary Blinken and senior officials of the US State Department were engaged in intensive telephone diplomacy with Washington’s allies and friends across the globe to secure a broad front against Russia in Ukraine.  The readout of Deputy Secretary Sherman’s call with Georgian Foreign Minister Zalkaliani said, they “emphasized the need to uphold the right of sovereign nations to choose their own security arrangements and support Georgia and Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of continued Russian aggression and discussed how to enhance peace and security in Europe.”

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