Is the U.S. pushing for war in Ukraine?  

February 18, 2022 - 21:14

TEHRAN- Western officials and Western mainstream media are using all means at their disposal to beat the drums of war over a Russian invasion of Ukraine. This is despite both Ukraine and Russia calling on NATO, especially the United States, to end its warmongering. 

At a Security Council session, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken claimed Russia was preparing to launch an attack on Ukraine in the coming days.

The remarks are in line with comments made by American officials since late October last year that a Russian invasion is “imminent” or “within a few days” or “next week” or “within a few weeks”. Sometimes anonymous American officials have been cited in mainstream media as setting a specific date for the invasion to start. 

But all the dates have passed and no attack has taken place. 

Critics say Washington needs the tension to persist at a heightened level even if Russia has no intention of attacking its neighbor. 

Experts say that maintaining an intense crisis serves only to benefit the U.S. and in more ways than one. It gives the pretext to keep U.S. military forces and weapons stationed in Europe. It enables Washington to use the propaganda to portray Russia as an aggressive actor in the region. 

Experts also say the increase in tensions serve to poison ties between Russia and the European Union. This would explain why the 27 member bloc has taken a more diplomatic approach to the crisis, unlike the U.S. and the UK which has left the EU. 

Observers also note the sharp ongoing uptick in spreading concern and uncertainties serves to harm the eurozone economy and allow more capital flight from the continent to the U.S. where inflation has hit decades-long highs. 

Some analysts have also suggested Washington is stirring up trouble with Russia in an effort to use the tension to damage Moscow’s ties with its allies such as China and Iran; however so far this approach appears to have failed.  

Ukraine has regularly denounced America’s war rhetoric saying the language is only hurting Kiev. Last month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy criticized his American counterpart Joe Biden saying “I am the president of Ukraine, I am here and I know more details and I have deeper knowledge than any other president”.

Ukraine has also called on Washington to end its war “hysteria” warning it is damaging the country’s economy. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has slammed the West’s remarks, telling the Russian news outlet RT “I am certain that even casual observers of foreign policy have long confirmed to themselves that all of it is propaganda, fake news, fiction”.

The top diplomat added, “If they enjoy [making such claims], let them take their time getting the pleasure”.

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has strongly criticized Washington’s persistent announcements that an offensive is on the horizon.

She also pointed out that Ukraine has expressed doubt over claims an incursion is looming and Kiev is asking the West to end the doomsday warnings.

Responding to U.S. intelligence reports that a Russian invasion is imminent, Zakharova questioned  “what kind of intelligence is this? What kind of an embarrassment is this? Reports that an invasion is imminent or about to happen,” she continued “The next minute, it turns out there is no absolute certainty that it is imminent, but yet there is already a date: in 48 hours, from 24 hours, maybe on the 15th or 16th, maybe at 1 AM, maybe at 4 AM.”

She adds “maybe [U.S. officials] think it is normal to use a situation like this for some kind of revenge, something went wrong, and they need to push countries… to condemn people to torment, to suffer again, just to stroke their own ego, and among other things, are willing to go so far as to provide their own president with such distorted, falsified intelligence”.

According to the Kremlin, the West has left the situation near Russia’s borders in such a state that "the risk of moving from mud-slinging to consequences that would cause a new outbreak of war in the immediate vicinity of our borders is always lurking”.

According to the Kremlin even if that is the case, “Russia maintains a responsible position and awaits dialogue from its partners”. 

Lavrov is reportedly set to meet Blinken late next week.

Russia on the other hand has also published its reply to the U.S. response to Moscow’s security proposals in December to defuse tensions. 

The Russian Foreign Ministry says "The U.S. side has failed to provide a constructive response to the basic points of the draft treaty on security guarantees of the part of the U.S. prepared by the Russian side”.

The ministry added, "the U.S. side deliberately chose the issues that it feels comfortable to discuss, which raises doubts that Washington is willing to settle the European security issue”.

It adds that "the U.S. unwillingness to agree on strong and legally binding guarantees” and by ignoring Russia’s “red lines” as well as Washington refusal to address legally binding guarantees regarding Russia’s security may force Moscow to respond including “through the implementation of measures of a military-technical nature”, according to a copy by the Russian State News agency. 

Elsewhere, the Russian Foreign Ministry says the conflict in eastern Ukraine is purely an internal Ukrainian matter noting “the loss of territorial integrity by the Ukrainian government is the result of internal processes in that country” adding no Russian military boots have entered Ukrainian territory, especially since 2014 when the conflict broke out. 

The document points out Russia has no plans to invade Ukraine and that U.S. forces must withdraw from Russian borders adding that the deployments of troops within Russia’s own territory “do not and cannot concern the fundamental interests of the United States”.

In its response, Russia also added that NATO’s “open doors policy” violates security; the U.S. and NATO’s eastward expansion violates both the 1990 Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) and the 1997 Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation, and Security between Russia and NATO. 

Moscow insisted on the withdrawal “of all U.S. armed forces and weapons deployed in Central and Eastern Europe, Southeastern Europe, and the Baltics,” noting it violates the principle of indivisibility of security which the U.S. committed to under the treaties that established the Organization for European Security Cooperation; most notably to “not to enhance their security at the expense of the security of others”.

The document also points out there was no response by the U.S. about the Russian proposal to withdraw nuclear weapons from NATO member states that are capable of hitting Russia; something that violates the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT). 

Meanwhile, in a statement, Russia’s defense ministry has said President Vladimir Putin will personally oversee exercises of Moscow’s strategic deterrence forces, including ballistic and cruise missile launches meant to simulate a nuclear attack.

The annual strategic Grom drills will take place on Saturday “under the supervision of Russian Armed Forces Supreme Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Putin. Ballistic and cruise missiles will be launched in its course.”

The exercises coincide with the final day of Russia’s Allied Resolve military drills in Belarus.

The ministry said the Russian drills will “involve forces and hardware belonging to the Aerospace Forces, the Southern Military District, the Strategic Missile Forces, the Northern Fleet, and the Black Sea Fleet”.

It adds that “deterrence forces drills are aimed at checking the preparedness of military commands and crews of missile systems, warships and strategic bombers to accomplish their missions and at verifying the reliability of weapons of strategic nuclear and conventional forces”.

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