Kiev, the letter sent by the Americans does not convince the Kremlin. The appeal to China: use your influence
The first reaction of the Russian government is negative. The letter sent by the US State Department “does not contain positive answers to the main question,” says Foreign Minister Sergej Lavrov. The Kremlin is demanding a written commitment from the United States and NATO: Ukraine will never be admitted to the Atlantic Alliance. The document sent to Vladimir Putin confirms the US position: «NATO is an organization with open doors. Russia cannot decide who should be part of it and who should not ». If this is the case, says Dmitrj Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, “there is little room for optimism”, adding, however: “there are always possibilities to continue the dialogue; it is in our interest and in that of the Americans. “
Therefore, a change of perspective would be needed. For now, the United States and its European allies are working on sanctions. Yesterday Ned Price, spokesman for Foreign Minister Antony Blinken, said in an interview: «I want to be very clear. If Russia invades Ukraine in one way or another, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will not go ahead. ” The pipes that directly connect Russia and Germany, which are not yet in operation, would therefore be the first target of Western retaliation. Although from Berlin, Annalena Baerbok, owner of Foreign Affairs, wanted to specify: “the abandonment of the Nord Stream 2 project is one of the options on the table”.
In fact in Washington it is feared that gas supplies can divide the European front
. Deputy Foreign Minister Wendy Sherman leaked these concerns in an online debate organized yesterday by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation in Kiev. Biden wants to hit the export of hydrocarbons, if even “a single military unit of Moscow” were to cross over. Sherman, however, observes that “we are facing an interdependence between Europe and Russia”. As if to say: the sanctions will have to be carefully calibrated.
At the same time, contacts between the capitals involved in the crisis continue frenetic. Yesterday Biden phoned the Ukrainian leader, Volodymyr Zelensky. Today, French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to speak on the phone with Putin. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will come to Washington for the first meeting with Biden on 7 February. Naturally, he expects Putin’s move, who for now is “studying” the dossier. Price himself, the spokesman for the State Department, appealed to Beijing to use its influence on Moscow: “if there is a conflict in Ukraine it will not be good for China either”.