Mečys Laurinkus. Observing the West's reaction to Russia sometimes brings a nasty insight

An incontrovertible truth, confirmed by history. Of course, there are times when the powers at war are on an equal footing when there are ceasefires, negotiations and treaties, but even after these, preparations have always been made for a new clash.

Mečys Laurinkus.
Mečys Laurinkus.
Daugiau nuotraukų (1)

Lrytas.lt

Apr 26, 2022, 1:13 PM

A week after the Russian invasion, the President of Ukraine, Mr Zelensky, declared that there was a need for negotiations for a seat at the negotiating table. Russia has accepted the statement and has even repeated it several times, giving the impression that it needs negotiations more than Kyiv does, having met the unexpected and unplanned fierce Ukrainian resistance.

But after the negotiators' meetings in Belarus and Istanbul, the desire for a peaceful solution to the bloody conflict began to wane. It has not yet completely disappeared, but it is doubtful whether anyone still believes in that option. This is what Mr Borrell said. His words have recently been confirmed by the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Mr Kuleba. And German Federal Chancellor Scholz put it bluntly and concretely: Russia cannot be allowed to win.

We shall see how it goes. When it is – there are various predictions, but none of them is convincing. The battle is being fought on three fronts – the hot one, the economic one and the international diplomatic one. NATO is not directly involved in defence of Ukraine against the Russian invasion, and this is constantly reiterated, but its members are committed, to varying degrees, to supporting Ukraine with arms. It is just not clear whether they will be enough for victory.

It is difficult to assess the quality of Western infrastructural support, as not all the information is available to the average observer. Maybe it should not be readily available. The US and British contributions are significant and important. There are many liars in the information field. It is a matter of speculation whether it is true or not.

For example, the pictures show military aircraft given or sold to Ukraine. I recognised one of them because I served on it during the Soviet era, from the MiG series. But this is 1970. Or is that all they show? We will see how it really is later, but it is still a powerful machine. At that time, the Soviets were proud of them in front of the US.

Moscow announces – and Kyiv confirms – that it has launched the second phase of the invasion, which it still calls a special military operation. Yes, after a break of a few weeks, the Russian offensive has clearly intensified. And with additional resources, which are, however, more than in the country attacked, where things are moving towards, not unless Vanga can answer.

The West is active on the economic and diplomatic fronts in organising Russia's complete isolation. What are the results? Russia claims to have overcome the first spate of 'serious' economic sanctions. At least Lithuanian economic commentators say that this is an artificial, propagandistic, temporary satisfaction for the Kremlin. In reality, it will be much worse because the economic impact of the sanctions will only become apparent in the future. And at the moment, the sanctions against Russia are very serious.

On this subject, I would like to ask: why is it that, for eight years, the sanctions against Russia, which are supposedly supposed to discourage even the thought of aggression, have been spoken about from high Western tribunes, not to mention Lithuania, with extremely serious faces?

As it turns out, there were no real sanctions. Deceiving their own societies? And now? Hellish sanctions have been announced. Where are they? Despite the energy projects of the future, many Western countries are still dependent, albeit to varying degrees, on Russia's resources – gas and oil. And while they support Ukraine's struggle morally and emotionally, they are not prepared to sacrifice their own well-being for it at home. This is what I see when I travel around Europe.

It is even more interesting in world politics. It is not news to anyone that the US's main adversary, and not just in economic terms, is China. The visit of US senators to Taiwan has prompted China to conduct military exercises off the coast of Taiwan. There are many examples around the world of exercises turning into concrete military action. If Taiwan were to turn into a war theatre, US support for Ukraine would move up to 10th place and maybe even further.

Ankara's actions also deserve attention. Turkey has launched an anti-terrorist military action against the 'Kurdistan Workers' Party', destroying, as it proclaims itself, its secret military facilities, hideouts, tunnels and resistance headquarters. Kurdistan has been a serious potential state for many years, with a political foothold in Iraq and Syria, with which Turkey has also been fighting for decades.

Turkey launched its military action at the same time as Russia launched the second phase of its offensive in Ukraine.

Naturally, the world's attention will be on Ukraine. Turkey is supporting Ukraine and Azerbaijan with modern unmanned aerial vehicles, inviting Russia and Ukraine to peace talks and opposing economic sanctions against Moscow. A very clever game. I believe that Russian intelligence will do everything possible to reduce Turkey's technical assistance to Ukraine. Maybe even by pandering to Turkey's actions towards Kurdistan.

Russia's interest at the moment is elementary – to minimise the resentment, support, concern and emotional sympathy of near and distant states for a resisting Ukraine. To some extent, Moscow is not mistaken because a number of states have begun to think about what they can gain from this situation for themselves.

Observing the West's reaction to the war that Russia has brought about sometimes gives me a nasty insight. But, of course, it would be good if it did not come true.

Western support for Kyiv will be far greater than it has been but not enough for victory, and Moscow will have wrested a third of Ukraine's territory from Russia. The part of the West that is dependent on Russia for energy will have accepted this. They will, of course, admire Ukraine's heroism and promise it every support in the future.

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