Written by – Elijah J. Magnier:
US President Joe Biden said from the rostrum of the European Community in Brussels that his [NATO] alliance “will respond if Russian President Vladimir Putin uses chemical weapons in Ukraine.” This statement is considered one of the most dangerous US issues since the Cuba crisis in 1962 due to its repercussions on the war on Ukraine, the possibility of its expansion outside the borders, and what the future holds for Europe and the world.
Following his meeting with President Biden in Brussels, Latvian President Egils Levits declared, in a clear and challenging tone, that “Moscow’s use of biological weapons constitutes a great danger to the whole world and must be responded to. Russia should think twice before using chemical weapons. We won’t inform Russia about our plans. However, if that happens, everything will change in Ukraine.”
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that “NATO will respond if Russia uses chemical weapons.” Likewise, the leaders of the G7 countries (America, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Britain and Italy) affirmed in a joint statement that “any use of chemical weapons means changing the rules of the game and would be tantamount to a declaration of war.”
On the Ukrainian side, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said that Ukraine “will only recognise the Ukrainian language (excluding native Russian speakers) as the only language used in the country. We insist first on an immediate ceasefire and a security guarantee that the country will not be subjected to any future aggression and that the sovereignty of Ukraine over the entire occupied territories will be preserved.” The Ukrainian Foreign Minister is basically dismantling the content of all the previous five-round meetings with the Russian delegation. Therefore, if what Kuleba said represents the official stand of Ukraine, the talks are back to square one. Indeed, Russian officials said their Ukrainian counterparts refused to sign any document even stating negotiated and agreed upon points.
Thus, Ukraine believes and acts as if it is not negotiating from a weak position, or at least counting on US support and waiting for further developments to challenge Russia further, notwithstanding the military non-equivalence between the two armies. Kyiv is ready to continue fighting even if it loses a massive part of the eastern Donbas province and southern Ukraine. The Russian forces are stationed 15 miles from the presidential palace in central Kyiv and are slowly operating to surround the capital. In the art of war, no regular country with static institutions and infrastructure, equipped with lesser effectiveness, no air dominance and facing greater firepower would fight a lost battle in a classical confrontation. The bulk of the Ukrainian hundreds of thousand men is fighting in the east and the south, where Russia registers the most significant advance on the ground.
It further indicates Ukraine’s intent to gain additional time in the seemingly unfruitful negotiations. This attitude stems from the confidence that the western community, led by the US, will continue to provide Kyiv with tons of weapons, advanced equipment, intelligence support and encourage the Ukrainians to continue and transform their country into another 1979 Afghanistan for Russia as it was for the former Soviet Union. It is doubtful that Ukraine officials would opt to continue the war if left themselves to decide.
Moreover, it has become clear that President Putin will not stop the military operation, whatever its military and economic costs, until his (unannounced) goals are fully achieved, starting from the full control of eastern Ukraine, hence the complete control of the Donbas. It may be expected to force other cities to capitulate until Kyiv surrenders and detaches itself from the US dominance and dictate. Russia is avoiding setting a high and costly objective so its military command can reassert the troops’ advance on the battlefield.
Therefore, it is no longer necessary to say that the US’s only objective was for the war to happen so it can last as long as possible to demonise President Putin and Russia because this goal has been already achieved. Furthermore, it is not a question for the US to consolidate the ranks of its western and European allies and drag them behind Washington’s goals because this objective has been concluded with success. Although hesitations were registered among the leaders of the Western European countries (not the Eastern ones, which are obedient to Washington), the West has reached a unified decision, albeit reluctantly and stands behind the US despite the damage to the EU economy.
Indeed, it is no longer a question of Europe’s distancing from importing Russian gas, oil, and coal because this path has been put on the track. The necessary measures have gradually reduced the EU’s dependence on the Russian energy source. This decision could require a few years for Europe to reach the final divorce with Russia. The separation will be excruciating for the European governments (mainly Germany, Italy and France) and the end consumers, but the decision is behind us now. On the first day of the war, to the dislike of Germany, Washington (not Berlin) announced the suspension of Nord-Stream 2, ending the Russian gas supply to Europe through a pipeline that had never been inaugurated. Biden succeeded where his predecessor Donald Trump failed. The Russian war on Ukraine added more victories to the US objectives in the European arena.
Consequently, the only conclusion remaining is that it is not improbable that the US is preparing for a much bigger battle. Accuse Russia of using chemical weapons – that Moscow has destroyed in 2017 – at some point in the ongoing battle, and the war will take a much more dangerous turn than today, with consequences that could shake the world.
This is a dèja-vu scenario of Syria, and the US is familiar with the “chemical weapons” procedure. Indeed, in 2013, when President Bashar al-Assad was accused of using chemical weapons, Russia intervened to prevent America from destroying the Syrian army and the Syrian leadership in Damascus. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his US counterpart John Kerry reached an agreement for Syria to hand over its weapons and chemical stockpiles. The US and its close partner Israel were happy with the exchange due to Syria’s threat to the Israeli occupation of the Syrian Golan heights.In 2018, the US, Britain and France bombed several sites in Syria in response to an accusation against Damascus of using chemical weapons that remained in Damascus’s possession. The claims that Syria used chemical weapons against civilians in the Duma area were unfounded and staged, according to the OPCWomitted report. The OPCW admitted
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Proofread by: Maurice Brasher