WASHINGTON.- “The drums of war are beating loud”. Those were the words of the United States ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Michael Carpenter, and made clear the zero point in the negotiations between Russia and the West to avoid a military escalation in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin’s government has around 100,000 soldiers on the border between the two nations, and for now, has not committed to lifting them.
Pessimism reigned among US and Russian officials, according to CNN, following Thursday’s OSCE meeting in Vienna. During the third session of talks between the United States and its NATO allies, it was hoped that an agreement could be reached with Russia through diplomacy, to achieve a de-escalation, something that is still far away considering that the presence of troops Russian borders with Ukraine has increased.
Russian officials even, according to the American channel, suggested that they were even about to abandon the negotiations, after Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said they were in “a dead end or a difference in approach”.
Even the Russian official, in statements made today, said that he could neither confirm nor exclude the possibility of his country deploying military infrastructure in Cuba and even Venezuela, words that raise the tension in the midst of failed meetings. During an interview on the RTVI channel, he said that “everything depends on the actions of our American counterparts,” and even said that President Putin himself warned that they could take more measures if the United States acts to put pressure on Moscow.
The United States asks, to continue with the talks, that Russia de-escalate, but for the Russian foreign minister, Sergei lavrov, those demands are “unacceptable”
The US ambassador to the OSCE also told reporters that “the rhetoric has become quite strident … we have to take this very seriously,” in the context of the Russian military presence. Something with which the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Zbigniew Rau, president of the OSCE, agrees, who was blunt in saying that “The risk of war in the OSCE area is now greater than ever in the last 30 years.”
While the NATO and OSCE sessions were intended to intensify diplomatic efforts to push Russia back on the idea of an invasion of Ukraine, finally it all ended in separate meetings between the United States and Russia in front of the multilateral organizations. What is worrying is that even the Russian army carried out exercises with real weapons on the border.
The head of the US delegation, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, said earlier this week that he did not know if the Russians had used these sessions to justify further military action, or if they were acting in good faith. “If Russia walks away, it will be quite apparent that they were never serious about pursuing diplomacy,” he said.