Russia-Ukraine: what will be the next step?

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Kiev is running out of patience to keep negotiations open with Russia because of atrocities committed such as the Azovstal steelworks which is currently being attacked by Russian invaders not only with aircraft and artillery, but also with tanks that are trying to break through. Russia is bombing the regions of Chernihiv in the North and Sumy in the Northeast daily and repeatedly throughout the day, according to Ukrainian Border Guard Service spokesman Andriy Demchenko quoted by Interfax Ukraine, there is no usual border protection by patrolling along the border line, as there is the danger of mines in the area, the operations of sabotage groups and especially the bombings carried out by Russia from its territory to Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia does not want a war across the continent in Europe, but added a note of caution about the intentions surrounding Western governments in support of Ukraine. «If you are worried about the prospect of a war in Europe, and we do not want it at all, then the West must not constantly insist that Russia must be defeated». In addition, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that contacts between Russia and Ukraine in the sphere of talks are proceeding. ” Contacts are ongoing,” he told Radio Sputnik quoted by the Russian agency Tass. In the meantime, the US House has approved by an overwhelming majority the new 40 billion aid package proposed by US President Joe Biden. The new funding passed with 368 votes to 57 and will likely be approved by the Senate later this week.

Between eight and ten Russian generals were killed in Ukraine by Kiev forces. This was said by the head of the US military intelligence services, General Scott Berrier, explaining that the heavy budget is due to the “unusual role” that the military leaders of Moscow played in the war against Ukraine. “Instead of leading the operations at a distance”, Berrier explained, “the Russian generals had to go to the front to make sure their orders were carried out”. The Italian Prime Minister met the US President: “At their meeting in the Oval Office Joe Biden and Mario Draghi stressed their commitment to pursuing peace by supporting Ukraine and imposing costs on Russia”This is the summary of the White House colloquium, where for the

first time in a long time the American president uses the word “peace”, which the head of the Italian government insisted on. In their meeting, Biden and Draghi, “facing the global economic challenges created by Russian actions, discussed measures to strengthen food security and reshape global energy markets”. The words of the spokeswoman of the Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, sound the alarm in the chancelleries for the fear of a new operation of the military of Vladimir Putin. It is no coincidence that both Sweden and Finland took part at the invitation of the Secretary-General at the last summit on the situation in Ukraine.

Zakharova’s words are a warning linked precisely to the decision of Finland and Sweden to take part in the NATO summit: Russia “cannot fail to note the persistent attempts of NATO” to enlarge including Finland and Sweden, made “in particular by the USA”, said stressing that Moscow considers “an important factor of security the policy of non-alignment” of those states. In the case of Stockholm, an invasion would also provoke the intervention of NATO, despite its neutrality: there is in fact a ‘Host Country Support Agreement’, ratified in 2016, which keeps Sweden neutral while hosting, again with the approval of the government, NATO troops, warehouses or operations. In return, the Alliance will be able to provide military support in the event of a request for help. 

The situation is different in Finland, which, on the other hand, is a neutral country without any kind of cooperation. In case of invasion, as an EU Member State, military support would come from the other 26. To this is also added the permanent structured cooperation that always operates in the field of the Common Security and Defence Policy. Here too, this enhanced cooperation between Member States can also play a defensive role in the event of an attack. If Moscow were really to decide to invade the Finnish borders, then Italy would also be called upon to respond militarily to the threat.

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Autore:

Greta Raniolo – Samuela Roccuzzo

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3ASA
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