Referring to the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Ukraine and the escalation of the Russian-American confrontation in the country, Dr. Mousa Abdollahi said in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations: Russia’s actions were the main topic of all Blinken meetings and the Ukrainian parties. In fact, under former US presidents attempts were made to avoid confrontation with Russia but in the Biden era, this competition has escalated into more tensions, and we are seeing more and more signs of this confrontation every day.
He said the scale of the confrontation was significant in several areas, including diplomatic tensions between the two countries in limiting the US State Department’s consular and non-governmental organizations, as well as the sanctions war and the “domino-like expulsion” of Russian diplomats from European countries. “In such circumstances, one cannot expect these confrontations not to be extended to Ukraine,” he said.
The international affairs analyst continued: “On the one hand, NATO’s largest maneuver is taking place on Russia’s eastern borders, and on the other hand, Russia has deployed a large number of troops on its borders and stressed that it is closely monitoring the movement of forces on its borders.”
Abdollahi stressed that this growing tension seems to have gripped Ukraine and is expected to be fueled by Biden’s policies, adding: “Although some analysts believe that Russia will launch a military strike on parts of Ukraine, I do not think that such a decision would be made in the Kremlin. They are more likely to seek a barrier between them and NATO forces, and for them the best option is a form of autonomy and a self-proclaimed republic that is not officially dependent on Russia.
Russia wants to create a buffer zone with NATO in Ukraine
The university professor explained: “In any case, Russia is not able to bear the significant economic costs of these regions with this situation of the oil market and fuel prices, and it seems unlikely that it will be willing to accept such a thing;” as was the case with Crimea. In fact, instead of trying to annex the region directly to Russia, it is looking for a buffer zone between itself and NATO.
Referring to Ukraine’s hopes to receive new weapons from the United States, as well as Russia’s tough stance on a military presence in the region and the implications of the Ukraine crisis for the West, he said:
“The West, led by the United States, has always provided military assistance to Ukraine, but at the same time took some considerations into account such as special arms that provoke Russia like anti-tank weapons. On the contrary, it has always supported Ukraine in a special way as a lever of pressure on issues related to the crisis on Russia’s borders.
Abdollahi referred to the Ukrainian president’s remarks during a meeting with the US Secretary of State that “2021 will be” fundamental “for US-Ukrainian relations, and stressed that the US has made every effort to neutralize the power of Russia and China.” The West is narrowing the circle of NATO bases and the presence of its military forces around Russia, especially in the post-Soviet republics, and we are witnessing it in various ways,” he said.
He added: “When NATO experts train military officers in these countries and the training is in line with NATO standards, they gradually move to the use of Western military methods and the use of those methods also requires Western equipment, so like-mindedness in the body of the military structure.” The post-Soviet countries that co-existed with Russia are gradually disappearing and trying to destroy it. In this regard, strengthening the English language and weakening the Russian language, as a common feature of all people living in this space, is significant.
Abdollahi added: “If the western military bases around Russia expand, it will be easier to control this country, as a country that is trying to disrupt the unipolar atmosphere of the world along with China.”
West is trying to increase Russia’s military spending
Noting that sending NATO troops around Russia would force Moscow to increase its military spending, the expert noted: “Although the prospect of change from within is unlikely for Russia in the short term, the debilitating economic sanctions against Moscow can hurt the economy. This blow-stricken economy can lead to social unrest. The West has relied heavily on this to bring about change from within and to contain Russia at a lower cost to the United States; as we have seen unrest due to rising unemployment and inflation caused by the Corona pandemic.
West exploits the gap in Ukraine
Regarding the prospects for US-Ukrainian cooperation against Russia and US crises in the region, he said: “There is no denying the fact that a large part of Ukrainian society is Russian-speaking and that Kiev was essentially the center from which the Russian Empire was formed; But because of the rift in Ukrainian society, a large part of the people of this country are pro-Western and think that by leaning towards the West they will gain better benefits and have better freedoms and economy. Under these circumstances, the West is seriously exploiting this gap.”
Recalling that Russia also has its own tools and uses them, Abdollahi added: “If the agreement reached between the two sides, according to which special autonomy would be granted to the two Ukrainian provinces but they would remain within Ukraine is implemented Russia’s goals will be achieved, but Ukraine has not yet implemented this plan and tensions are growing.