Military support and a new sanctions package… How is Washington preparing for a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine?

US officials are in discussions with European allies about a new package of sanctions against Russia that could take effect if it invades Ukraine. The sanctions affect senior officials in the Kremlin, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Washington- While the American security and political circles focus on the threats posed by the continued rise of China in its economic and military aspects, and the wide threats that this poses to the American leadership; The attention of experts and commentators has turned to the growing Russian threat to Ukraine, which has recently troubled the administration of President Joe Biden.

US intelligence estimates indicate that Russia has mobilized about 100,000 soldiers, and a lot of military equipment, along the border line between the two countries, which raises widespread concern in Ukraine and fears of an imminent Russian invasion.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has been at war since 2014, with pro-Russian separatists in its eastern part. Moscow is considered the military and financial supporter of these separatists, although it denies this.

The conflict, which claimed more than 13,000 lives, erupted shortly after Moscow annexed Crimea in the same year.

In this atmosphere, on Thursday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will meet with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Stockholm, amid renewed military tension in the border region between Russia and Ukraine. The two ministers participate in the meetings of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken (right) and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba at a news conference on Wednesday (Reuters)

Cold War Legacy

A Russian diplomat working at his country’s embassy in Washington says – to Al Jazeera Net – that “the real dilemma in our relationship with the United States revolves around their belief that the Cold War ended with their victory and our defeat, and accordingly they adopt the behavior of the victor and expect the behavior of the defeated.”

“We see that the Cold War ended without shooting, without a victor or a defeated,” added the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, and this is the core of the differences between Moscow and Washington on many global issues, foremost of which is the fate of Ukraine.

Russia complains about the development of military relations between NATO and Ukraine, at a time when Russian President Vladimir Putin warned NATO that the deployment of weapons or soldiers in Ukraine means crossing the “red line” for his country, considering that this may lead to a strong response, including the deployment of Possible Russian missiles.

Commenting on Western concerns about Russia’s intention to invade Ukraine, Putin said Moscow was also concerned about NATO maneuvers near its borders. While Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accuses NATO of threatening peace in the region.

As for Ukraine, Russia’s neighbor, which is seeking and is pressing to join NATO amid the latter’s reluctance to accept it for fear of provoking Russia and prompting it to move militarily against this step, it complains about Moscow’s mobilization of nearly 100,000 soldiers in preparation for the invasion of its territory.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is calling for his country’s membership in NATO, which is considered a fortification of the country against any Russian regional ambitions.

Ukraine support

And Ukraine demanded – during its participation in a meeting with NATO countries on Wednesday – to provide a “deterrence package” against Russia, which “Kiev” suspects of preparing a possible invasion of its territory.

The Biden administration is considering sending military advisers and new equipment – including advanced weapons – to Ukraine, and discussions are being held about the proposed aid package, at a time when Ukrainian warnings have been issued that the Russian invasion may occur as soon as possible, and it may be in January Next second.

Military sources said that Washington may supply Ukraine with new anti-tank missiles, “Javelin” anti-armor missiles, as well as mortars.

The sending of “Stinger” air defense systems, which are highly effective against advanced Russian tanks, are also being discussed. The Pentagon is pressing to send some of the equipment that would have gone to Afghanistan – such as the M17 helicopters – to Ukraine.

However, there is some concern within the Biden administration that Russia considers sending advanced weapons to Ukraine a major escalation by the Biden administration, with some of his advisers believing that any additional aid to Ukraine undoubtedly risks “raising tensions” with Moscow.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: The alliance is preparing for the worst as concerns grow over a Russian invasion of Ukraine (Anatolia)

Prepare for the worst

At a time when Washington and NATO are concerned about the rising Russian-Ukrainian tension, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that “the alliance must prepare for the worst, with growing concern that Russia may prepare to invade Ukraine.”

On the other hand, according to several well-informed sources, CNN, American officials are preparing their NATO allies for a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The United States has warned of “serious consequences” for any aggression. At the same time, Russia constantly denies any attempt in this direction, and accuses Ukraine and its Western allies of increasing “provocations”.

Sanctions Debates and Actions of Congress

Meanwhile, US officials are in discussions with European allies about a new package of sanctions that could take effect if Russia invades Ukraine. Meanwhile, Democratic and Republican lawmakers have added proposed amendments to the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act that would address recent Russian “provocations,” but they have yet to sign the final version.

In an amendment proposed by Senate Foreign Relations Officer Bob Menendez, the text indicates significant new sanctions by President Joe Biden on senior Kremlin officials, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, in the event of Russia’s military escalation against Ukraine.

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