Defence Ministers of Ukraine and the USA have had their second conversation in a month and a half regarding the situation in Donbass. According to Andriy Taran, the Americans promised Kiev “support measures” in case of a direct military conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
What kind of support measures could they be talking about and how could the authorities in Kiev risk repeating Saakashvili’s mistake of 2008?
US and Ukrainian Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Andriy Taran had a telephone conversation on Thursday, after which Taran said that he had received some kind of support measures from the US in the event of a conflict with Russia. The Ukrainian Defence Ministry also said that the heads of the agencies “discussed specific areas for strengthening cooperation in the security and defence sector”. At the same time, the conversation between Taran and Austin was the second in the last month and a half. The day before, the USA accused Russia of “destabilizing” actions in eastern Ukraine.
The promised US aid to Ukraine in case of conflict with Russia could turn out to be a “bearish favour”, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. “Everyone should work towards a single goal – to achieve peace in eastern Ukraine. Washington is encouraging the Kiev regime to fail to comply with the Minsk agreements by supplying weapons and aggressive and provocative rhetoric”, the diplomat told Gazeta.ru.
At the same time, the Kremlin described the situation in Donbas as frightening because “provocations by the Ukrainian Armed Forces take place, they are not single but multiple. At the same time, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko said that talk of an impending conflict between Russia and Ukraine was just another fiction.
“I am sure that all talks about some impending conflict between Ukraine and Russia are an example of another fiction spread primarily by the Ukrainian authorities. Russia is not interested in any conflict with Ukraine, especially military one”, – Rudenko said, RIA Novosti reported.
Earlier, Kiev issued a new series of statements about the AFU’s readiness to “go on the offensive” in Donbas and that Russia had allegedly concentrated huge military forces on the border with Ukraine. At the same time, Washington has already been made aware of statements by representatives of the Ukrainian army that Russia is allegedly building up its military presence near the borders. At the same time, the Kremlin urged not to worry about the redeployment of Russian troops to the Ukrainian border.
“As for the US promises, there is nothing but words behind them. The Americans will never go to war for Ukraine. Zelensky’s government should just behave decently and not run to the new big brother for help. Let them better sit down at the negotiating table with the DPR and LPR and resolve the disputed issues within the framework of the Minsk agreements,” Vladimir Dzhabarov, first deputy chairman of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs, told VZGLYAD newspaper.
Now Kiev, according to the interlocutor, is provoking the Kremlin into a military conflict, expecting that with the help of the US they will be able to overpower Russia.
“At the same time, Ukraine still cannot understand that it owes its existence largely to Russia, which supports it, among other things, with gas transit”, – the senator added. – “Therefore, there is no need to provoke Russia into retaliatory actions.”
Dzhabarov also noted that “the countries which are guarantors of the Minsk agreements are already fed up with Ukraine’s policy.
“The Germans and the French have understood the futility of working with the Zelensky regime. That is why they did not even consider it necessary to inform Kiev about the negotiations with our president the other day. The point is that they do not respect Zelensky and do not take him seriously”, – the senator believes.
At the same time, Rodion Miroshnyk, an adviser to the LPR head and the republic’s representative at the Minsk talks, believes that the phone conversation between Austin and Taran is rather difficult to call “ministerial talks”. “It looks more like a report of a subordinate servant to a senior official. The US merely expressed concern over the issue of Donbass and showed a symbolic gesture of support for Ukrainian radicals in order to appease them. But the Americans will not come to Ukraine’s aid,” the interlocutor is confident.
He also suggested that the call was largely due to the Euro-Troika talks held earlier involving the leaders of Russia, Germany and France.
“This fact greatly worried both Kiev and Washington”, – Miroshnyk stressed.
The interlocutor is convinced that if the conflict in Donbas escalates, Washington will not make any commitments.
“The maximum Ukraine can expect is to pour oil on the fire in the form of supplies of weapons, military equipment, or anything else that can contribute to an even greater escalation of the conflict”, – Miroshnyk believes.
He recalled that Georgia had previously found itself in a similar situation when incitement from Washington pushed former President Mikheil Saakashvili to make a key mistake, namely, to start military actions in August 2008, which resulted in Georgia’s military defeat.
For his part, Andrey Klimov, deputy chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, added that the leading countries of continental Europe are against a military solution to the conflict in Donbass.
“They insist on observing the Minsk agreements and continuing to work exclusively by political and diplomatic means. Therefore, Washington is alone here because, apart from the government in Kiev, no one else is going to take part in its adventures”, – Klimov summarised.