Can Russia-U.S. Heads of State Video Meeting Cool Down Russia-Ukraine Tension?

  Xinhua News Agency, Moscow, December 4

(International Observation) Can the video meeting of the Russian-U.S. heads of state cool down tensions between Russia and Ukraine

  Xinhua News Agency reporter Huang He

  Recently, relations between Russia and Ukraine have accelerated and the two sides have deployed a large number of military personnel and equipment in the border areas of the two countries.

In this context, Russian President Putin will hold a video meeting with US President Biden on the 7th to discuss the situation in Ukraine and other issues.

  Analysts believe that since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis in 2014, Russia-Ukraine relations have taken a turn for the worse. However, the situation where the border between Chen and the soldiers is drawn at the border is still rare.

Due to the structural contradictions between the parties and the lack of direct and effective communication channels, the possibility of misfires in the situation in Ukraine is on the rise.

At the same time, NATO, led by the United States, continues to exaggerate the "Russian threat" and frequently releases remarks that Russia may "invade" Ukraine, making the already freezing Russia-West relationship worse.

Whether the talks can "cool down" the regional situation and ease the tension between Russia and the West remains to be seen.

Russia and Ukraine clash constantly

  For a period of time, Russia and Ukraine have continued to clash over the military deployment in the border area, which has aroused people's worries about the possibility of conflict between the two sides.

  On the 3rd of this month, Uzbekistan’s Defense Minister Reznikov reiterated the threat from Russia in his speech at Uverdah Rada (Parliament), saying that Russia has deployed more than 94,000 troops in the border area with Uzbekistan.

  In addition, Uzbekistan also warned that it would impose severe economic sanctions on Russia.

After a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Brinken in Stockholm on the 2nd, Uzbekistan Foreign Minister Kuleba said that Uzbekistan and the United States are formulating a comprehensive plan to "contain Russia's next aggressive action."

  Russia is also tough, accusing Ukraine of destabilizing, and hinting that Uzbek government forces may be preparing to launch an offensive in eastern Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zakharova said on the 1st that Ukraine has deployed 125,000 soldiers in the eastern Donbass region, which is "half of the entire Ukrainian army."

Russian President’s Press Secretary Peskov said on the same day that Ukraine’s assembly of troops in its eastern region is a “dangerous adventure”.

  Analysts believe that there are many reasons for the recent accelerated deterioration of the situation in Ukraine.

Ukraine regards joining the European Union and NATO as a priority diplomatic goal and has touched Russia's strategic bottom line.

The structural contradictions between the parties have existed for a long time, and effective communication channels have not been established. As a result, the possibility of the risk of misfire on the Ukraine issue is rising.

Russia and the West are not giving way

  The issue of military deployment on the Ukrainian border has become a new starting point for NATO, led by the United States, to increase pressure and contain Russia.

Recently, NATO has continued to shout to Russia, and the US media has also deduced the so-called "invasion route" of Russia, and has continuously increased the public opinion offensive to exaggerate the "Russian threat."

  Brinken issued a warning again on the 2nd that if Russia invaded Ukraine, Russia would pay a "serious price."

He urged Russia to seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

  The Russian side denounced the accusations made by Western countries as "baseless".

Peskov pointed out that the Western and Ukrainian media have incited "hysteria" and received support from Ukrainian politicians, which is "absolutely unacceptable" for Russia.

  Nikita Danyuk, deputy director of the Institute of Strategic Research and Forecasting of the People's Friendship University of Russia, said that the United States is launching "an information war that hype Russia's unpredictability and aggressiveness."

Boltnik, the dean of the Ukrainian Institute of Political Science, also said that Western hype has ulterior motives.

  Putin made a speech a few days ago, thinking that NATO’s exercises and deployment of weapons near the Russian border seriously threaten Russia’s security, and that Russia’s development of hypersonic weapons is a response to NATO’s threats.

He also drawn a military "red line" for NATO, warning that if NATO crosses the line, it will trigger a strong reaction from Russia.

Long-term game continues

  Russia and Western countries originally lacked strategic mutual trust, while NATO, led by the United States, continued to expand eastward, continuously compressing Russia’s strategic space. The relationship between the two parties took a sharp turn for the worse after the Ukraine crisis in 2014, and has continued to linger over the years.

  Today, although the Biden administration of the United States seeks to establish a “stable and predictable” relationship with Russia, and is willing to try to talk to Russia on issues such as climate change and the “Beixi-2” natural gas pipeline project, it has also been supporting NATO frequently. The military exercises in the Black Sea region and the assistance of weapons and equipment to the Uzbek side have continuously increased their support to Uzbekistan.

  Analysts pointed out that with regard to the Ukrainian issue, Russia firmly opposes Ukraine’s full fall to the West, and believes that Ukraine’s foreign policy is closely related to Russia’s national security interests and development strategy.

Li Yonghui, a researcher at the Institute of Russian, Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that for a long time, Western countries led by the United States have long pursued a policy of containing Russia, and Russia has clearly drawn a "red line" on the Ukrainian issue on many occasions.

  Regarding the upcoming video meeting between Russia and the US dollar, experts believe that the current tension surrounding the Ukrainian issue may be a mutual trial between the two parties before the meeting.

Ye Tianle, an expert at the Institute of Eurasian Studies of the China Institute of Modern International Relations, said that if Russia and the United States can use their leaders’ video meeting to strengthen communication on the Ukrainian issue, the tensions on the Russian-Ukrainian border may ease. The political game in Western countries surrounding the Ukrainian issue will continue.

(Reporter: Li Dongxu)

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