Ukraine: Buses arrive at Kiev airport as prisoners swap with Moscow begins
Moscow – Kiev: an exchange of concerns
Ukraine wants NATO’s permanent presence in the Black Sea
KIEV – Moscow said that Ukraine is preparing an offensive, and Ukraine fears a “fist” of Russian troops on its border.
On December 13, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said: “In the coming days, Kiev intends to arrange an armed provocation on the line of contact in order (…) to organize a rapid offensive in the Mariupol direction in order to seize the territory of the Azov region (under the control of the so-called DPR – T.B. ) and reaching the border with Russia “.
On his Facebook page, Minister of Defense of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak noted that “Russia’s aggression now, after the attack and seizure of Ukrainian warships in the Kerch Strait region, is becoming open.”.
“And, obviously, this aggression will not stop. (..) The Russian Federation has accumulated a powerful military grouping along the border with Ukraine. And this testifies to the fact that Russia has not given up its attempts to seize our country. Why did they deploy Iskander missile systems near our borders, significantly increasing the probable radius of destruction of our territory? “.
Poltorak stressed: “The provocation in the Kerch Strait (…) the Russians needed for the further implementation of open aggression against Ukraine”.
Execution of “Minsk-2”
According to political strategist Dmitry Bachevsky, Ukraine will not attack the occupied territories of Donbass, as this will lead to a violation of the terms of the Minsk agreements..
“Although the problem of Donbass and the situation in the Sea of Azov are two theaters of the same war, they are still separated by different agreements and agreements. In addition, attacking the occupied territories without NATO military support would be suicide for Ukraine, since Russia would be guaranteed to throw all its superior power to defend its puppet republics, ”Dmitry Bachevsky told the Voice of America Russian Service..
“Until the West realizes that Ukraine is a Rubicon, crossing which the Kremlin will begin to destroy the EU itself, until our strategic partners take serious measures that can significantly weaken the Russian economy, until then Moscow will bend its line, not looking back at any resolutions or minor sanctions “, – says Dmitry Bachevsky.
Anatoly Oktisyuk, an expert at the House of Democracy analytical center, calls the statements that Kiev is ready for illegal actions as “horror stories”.
“For statements that Ukraine is, as it were, building up its forces in order to try to cut off the occupied territories from the Sea of Azov, that there will be offensive actions, I see no internal political grounds. For Petro Poroshenko, such a scenario would mean undermining legitimacy. Neither political elites nor Western partners will understand this, ”Anatoly Oktisyuk says to the Russian service of the Voice of America.
Ukraine and NATO agreed on the possibility and necessity of the permanent presence of the Alliance in the Black Sea “in order to prevent further escalation of tensions and ensure security in the region.” This was stated by President Petro Poroshenko on December 13 at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
“Strengthening NATO, as we agreed, a permanent presence in the Black Sea is necessary to prevent further escalation of tensions and ensure security in the region. This is what we need now. And we would be grateful if a NATO air and sea monitoring mission was established, “Poroshenko stressed..
Taras Zagorodny, Managing Partner of the National Anti-Crisis Group, notes that NATO countries have already increased the number of hours of patrolling in the neutral waters of the Black Sea: “But no one wants a direct conflict with Russia. And economic sanctions are quite possible, because, unlike the situation in Donbass and in Crimea, what happened on November 25 is a dangerous precedent for all countries and maritime law for the free passage of the straits. Because the well-being of many countries depends on sea trade “.
Ukraine’s desire to see monitoring by NATO in the Black or Azov Sea will not bring much benefit, says Dmitry Bachevsky: “In fact, this is an agreement to monitor the further development of the situation, which was carried out before. Russia will not make unilateral concessions on this issue and uses the situation in the Sea of Azov as an instrument of pressure on Ukraine “.
Anatoly Oktisyuk believes that monitoring of the situation in the Black Sea can be carried out on an ongoing basis by the forces of the Black Sea member states of the Alliance.
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