A Countdown to War?

Tension remains high in Eastern Europe and strong winds of war in Ukraine. “NATO allies are putting the forces on alert and are sending ships and fighters to Eastern Europe to strengthen our deterrence and defense capabilities, while Russia continues to increase its military presence in and out of Ukraine” , is what NATO writes in a note. While the Kremlin accuses the Organization itself of raising the tension.

As if that weren’t enough, US President Joe Biden is evaluating the possibility of deploying thousands of US troops in the Baltic countries and Eastern Europe to face a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine. The New York Times reports this, citing sources from the administration. In a Saturday meeting at Camp David, senior Pentagon officials, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, presented Biden with several options. These include sending 1,000 to 5,000 American soldiers with the ability to increase this number tenfold if things deteriorate.

Meanwhile, the European Union has launched a new package of financial aid to Ukraine “worth 1.2 billion euros”. This was announced in a press statement by the president of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen. “Ukraine is a free and sovereign state and the EU is at its side and is firmly committed” to resolving the crisis, added von der Leyen. Assistance will be “immediately” available. “We are counting on the Council and the European Parliament to adopt this emergency financial assistance as soon as possible,” stressed the President of the Commission.

The German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock spoke about the current crisis before the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels: “We are in a situation where I am concerned about taking all possible measures for a more relaxed dialogue, to make it clear to the Russian government that we must dialogue and we have to use the four format. At the same time, we are ready to face any situation». With respect to being ready for any situation, “we have carried out an intense work of defining common sanctions, also in close consultation between the European Union and the Government of the United States of America”, she explained.

“We will have to check the financial measures,” she pointed out, because the most intelligent weapon is not necessarily the stick. “It is important that we look at the different measures in a very different way and that, as far as the alliance area is concerned, we clearly separate the NATO alliance area and Ukraine”. Finally, «We are in solidarity with Ukraine» but «we must not mix the Allied territory with Ukraine».

Paulo Bentu

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