French President Emmanuel Macron recently met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to discuss the ongoing Ukrainian crisis. Ukraine has been under real threat of invasion for a few months, and recently U.S. intelligence suggests attempts at fabricating a casus belli (an ‘acceptable’ reason to attack).
But when asked regarding his meetings with Putin, Macron felt confident that Putin would not try to invade Ukraine. The French President shared that France and Russia had similar security concerns in the region and that Putin was still open to a diplomatic resolution.
The Kremlin reiterated these claims, with Putin expressing confidence that Macron’s proposals were feasible. This stands in contrast to the U.S.’ comments on Putin’s demands; after Biden’s meeting with Putin in December, most of Putin’s demands were described as non-starters.
Most likely, this is a method of de-escalation: yet the Kremlin recently announced a decision to use low-yield nuclear weapons in the region as part of their ‘escalate to de-escalate,’ believing that the shock and awe of nuclear weapons on NATO’s doorstep will push the West away from confrontation. Regardless of whether these threats are carried through, the war may very well go nuclear.
Of course, Putin could be using flowery language to erode Europe’s trust in the United States; as an ex-KGB agent. the notion isn’t far from his training. But the U.S.-European commitment has never been stronger, with thousands of British-American troops landing in Poland and American assurances that the U.S. would provide should gas flow be disrupted by Russia.
Putin is running out of time; an invasion in the bitter winter would allow him to hold Europe hostage with energy needed for heating and transportation. An invasion will likely happen before February 20th, the end of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Whether he invades or not, his deployment has deteriorated any notion of trust between Russia and the West and likely cost his economy more than he lets on. And with ongoing waves of dissent in CSTO nations, the Russian Federation’s days may be numbered.
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[…] are still many diplomatic options available to Russia, and recently hopes have been renewed after talks between Putin and Macron, both expressing mutual concern over the onset of war. Readers should be careful not to give in to […]