Russia and the USA: distrust and allegations in the Ukraine conflict

Status: 01/15/2022 1:29 p.m

Russia is trying to create a pretext for an invasion of Ukraine, according to the US accusation. That was nothing but “unfounded sensational news,” was the Russian reply. The tone between both sides remains rough.

What brought a week of high-level talks on the Ukraine conflict? Statements are coming from both Russia and the West that suggest mutual distrust has increased rather than decreased.

From the US side came the accusation that Russia was trying to use agents in Ukraine to create a pretext for a possible invasion. “We have information that suggests Russia has already deployed a group of agents to conduct a false flag operation in eastern Ukraine,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said yesterday. In addition, the basis has been laid for a disinformation campaign in which Ukraine is presented as an aggressor planning an imminent attack in eastern Ukraine.

“As usual, no evidence is presented”

Russia immediately rejected the allegations and accused the USA of deliberately spreading “unfounded sensational news”. As is so often the case, supposedly sensational news was being spread by the US without any basis for it, the Russian embassy in Washington said. “As usual, no evidence is presented.”

However, Russia has created facts in the border area with Ukraine that worry the West: The Russian army has assembled around 100,000 soldiers there. Separatists supported by Russia have been fighting Ukrainian government troops in eastern Ukraine since 2014. And in 2014, Russia also annexed the Crimean Peninsula, which belongs to Ukraine.

For weeks, Russia has been repeatedly dismissing the accusation that it is planning to invade its troops in eastern Ukraine with similar words. “Russia is against war. We are in favor of a diplomatic solution to all international problems,” said the Russian embassy in Washington.

West points to Ukraine’s sovereignty

However, the preconditions that Russia sets for any diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis cannot be accepted by the West. Because President Vladimir Putin is demanding, among other things, a commitment from NATO that Ukraine will not be included in the transatlantic military alliance.

There are currently no concrete plans for Ukraine’s admission to NATO. But the West points out, among other things, that sovereign states decide for themselves which alliances to join and which not. And since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine has been a sovereign state again.

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