Jan 14, 2022
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Putin Missed: The West Rejected the Kremlin’s Ultimatum

In the photo: meeting of the Russia-NATO Council in Brussels

Pictured: meeting of the Russia-NATO Council in Brussels (Photo: NATO/via

Security proposals submitted by Russia to the US and NATO at the end of last year were not met. This conclusion can be drawn from the results of three rounds of negotiations that took place from 10 to 13 January in Geneva, Brussels and Vienna.

As Sergey Ryabkov, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, explained, the United States and its allies actually answered our negotiators “no” on key elements of Russian demands. And the issues that they are ready to discuss are secondary to the primary ones: the non-expansion of NATO. He called the opposing side’s position “sly and duplicitous”.

“This is, in fact, the moment of truth, which should determine whether we will agree on those lines that cannot be crossed and on those principles that cannot be violated. Or the situation will go according to a scenario that could lead to catastrophic consequences,” Russia’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE explained the seriousness of the moment. Alexander Lukashevich.

Russia continues to insist on the indivisibility of security, but it is not being listened to. A written response from the US and NATO will be sent to Russia within a week. As soon as this happens, all eyes will be directed to Moscow. Can she adequately answer? It’s time for the Kremlin to think about how not to lose face. Where did our diplomacy go wrong? Or was it all meant to be?

Political scientist-Americanist, expert of the Center for Security Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Konstantin Blokhin points to the fault of the West.

“Negotiations have clearly stalled. After all, the West does not want to make even meager concessions – steps that mean little to it or even benefit it. For example, they could reduce NATO military activity near the Russian borders. If only because it greatly increases the risk of a hot conflict due to an accidental collision.

In addition, they could “for show” declare that Ukraine is not ready for official membership in NATO. It doesn’t cost them anything. In addition, the United States is not interested in this. This is expensive and increases the risk of being drawn into a conflict with Russia. Washington is completely satisfied with the current formula of cooperation with Kiev – a partnership without obligations.

Ukraine needs NATO membership. Handouts from the master’s table in the amount of 300 million dollars do not suit her. It puts pressure on the United States: accept, accept… The Americans are already tired of coming up with various excuses not to accept Kiev. And so one could refer to the principled position of Russia. This would make Kiev even more of an enemy of Moscow.

“SP”: – How realistic were the Russian requirements?

“Among our demands were those that the West could not agree to. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, they spent hundreds of billions of dollars to expand NATO’s infrastructure. We did this purposefully, systematically, we got out of the agreements that tied the Americans’ hands, changed regimes friendly to Moscow into hostile ones, shook the situation inside us.

Is the US going to give up now? Yes Biden for this they will be ground to powder. Moreover, not the Republicans, but their own party members. Yes, and Biden himself, read his biography, has never been a dove of peace, has always been a hawk. However, we have given the West a chance to move away from extreme confrontation. I don’t think that Moscow started it just like that, for hype.

“SP”: – In a week they will send us a “paper” with justification. The big question is what are we going to do next?

– From now on, the ball will be on the Russian side. It is clear that Moscow brought the situation to a new level, made claims, but they did not meet us halfway. This means that it will be necessary to present some kind of trump card, which, from the point of view of political logic, should be up our sleeve. We need a kind of deal changer – something that changes the rules of the game.

Just yesterday, Biden’s adviser Jake Sullivan promised a tough response to the emergence of Russia in Latin America. Why did he suddenly talk about it? There seems to be no aggravation there… Apparently, this issue was discussed during the negotiations. Our hands are tied now. It is logical to expect actions on our part to protect national security.

Expert of the Academy of Military Sciences Vladimir Prokhvatilov I am sure that Russia has the military capabilities to “put a gun to the head” of its opponents.

“Of course, Russia has the potential for a military response. We can place nuclear missiles in the Kaliningrad region and not far from Alaska. But the simplest is the constant presence and rotation of our nuclear-powered submarines and surface ships deploying carriers with nuclear warheads near the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States.

And it would be nice to arm these submarines not with ballistic missiles, but with cruise missiles, as the Americans did with their four Ohio-class submarines. Each of them carries 154 Tomogawks. Such missiles fly along a flat trajectory and are therefore very difficult to intercept. For each cruise missile you need two anti-missiles. We have a lot of submarines.

There is no need to fear the interception of our submarines in the waters of Northern Europe. In peacetime, we will calmly pass there by international waters – we have the right. Well, they will spot us, so what? They will know and be afraid. Submarine missiles will have a minimum approach time and the Americans will think a thousand times before striking. We also have Poseidon underwater nuclear drones.

“SP”: – Judging by the words of Biden’s adviser, Washington is afraid to see our missiles in one of the countries of Latin America …

— There are a number of countries that treat us positively. But there are difficulties there. Everywhere drug cartels, oppositionists supported by the Americans. Therefore, submarines are more reliable.

According to chief political adviser to the chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Vyacheslav Tetekin The Kremlin was too late to take care of tough upholding of national interests.

— The negative response of the US and NATO was predetermined. In the present state of Russia and their own state, they should not have agreed to meet our demands. This must have been clear to our diplomats. They have too much experience in communicating with Western colleagues who have been fooling them for 30 years. During this time, we have not moved anywhere, only the NATO bloc has moved forward. The vector of Western policy remains unchanged.

“SP”: – Then why did Moscow put forward an ultimatum?

– It seems that in the Russian government, the statist elements – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense, are opposing the pro-Western elements from the government’s economic bloc. The aggravation, the burning of bridges, suggests that it is time to end Westernism. I think an experienced Putin understands that this is precisely the burning of bridges. The next step is to break off diplomatic relations with the United States. There is nowhere else to go.

However, the president is still ambivalent. Despite the recent actions of the Foreign Ministry, Putin recently spoke of his agreement with the actions of our financial authorities. This maintains economic dependence on the West. As long as this bifurcation exists, there will be no progress. The government must work in a consolidated manner. If we understand that the West is hostile to us, then we must behave differently. In the meantime, the government is standing on its own.

“SP”: – The tough position of the Foreign Ministry is a balm for the soul of patriots. We now also have the latest weapons. But is the Kremlin ready to use it if necessary? Will Washington be afraid of our hypersonic missiles in Venezuela?

“As a containment weapon, this weapon is excellent. But its use will lead to the outbreak of world war. It cannot be used first. This means that it is not suitable as a weapon for promoting national interests. This requires political will. However, the political will had to be shown not now, presenting impossible ultimatums, but in 2014, when it was necessary to take Mariupol and support the rebellious regions of Ukraine: Kharkov, Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk.

In addition, the state of armaments depends on the state of the economy. If the latest models of weapons exist in our country in single copies, this is of little use. Is our economy capable of producing enough of them? Is not a fact. After all, we are still dependent on Western exports. So they threaten us with rather harsh sanctions. So we know how to swing checkers, that’s not bad, but it is also necessary that the steel be strong, and a good horse be under the saddle.

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