The crisis of Moscow and the West.. Ukraine launches exercises with American munitions, Russia is preparing to repel the marches and hostile ships

Kiev offered its allies 10 points to resolve the conflict in the Donbas region, without revealing its details

Russia and Ukraine launched separate exercises and maneuvers in the midst of the escalation and the exchange of accusations between the two countries, and a crisis that strained relations between them over the relationship between Moscow and the West.

These military exercises and maneuvers come after an atmosphere of cautious optimism, after Moscow confirmed, yesterday, Wednesday, the imminent start of negotiations on security guarantees with its opponents, as well as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s expression of his readiness to meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

In Ukraine, exercises with US-made munitions were launched in the separatist region in the east of the country, during which the US Javelin anti-tank missile was used for the first time.

A Ukrainian soldier trains to fire a US Javelin anti-tank missile (Reuters-Archive)

The Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov said that there are more than 200,000 Russian soldiers near the borders of his country. He added that the situation is under control and monitoring, stressing that the armed forces must be kept ready, although Kiev does not prefer the military option.

Simultaneously, Chief of the Presidential Office Andrei Yermak said that his country had offered its friends 10 points to resolve the conflict in the Donbass region, without giving any details about the content of these points.

Russian exercises

On the Russian side, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that his country has submitted to the United States its proposals regarding the timing of the start of negotiations on security guarantees, and is awaiting Washington’s response.

Ryabkov added that the United States’ attempts to use dialogue as a cover for the further military development of Ukraine, which will lead to a worsening of the situation in the region.

In conjunction with the statements and the transition from sparring to talking about dialogue between opponents, the Russian paratroopers are carrying out today extensive exercises in the Obock military field in the Crimea.

The Ministry of Defense indicated that units of biological and chemical defense are participating in these exercises, which simulate the scenario of protecting the armed forces from drone attacks, as well as confronting the enemy’s attack.

The Army’s Black Sea Fleet Command also stated that the Sukhoi-27 and Sukhoi-34 fighters and bombers of the Aerospace Forces conducted exercises over the Black Sea waters simulating the scenario of intercepting and escorting foreign warships crossing the international borders of Russia.

Cautious optimism

The military exercises, from Russia and Ukraine, on the borders, came a day after Moscow announced the imminent start of negotiations with its opponents over the security guarantees it demands.

Speaking yesterday on “Russia Today” channel, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that his country supports negotiations within the framework of 3 platforms: with NATO, Washington, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He pointed out that negotiations on security guarantees will begin early next year.

On the American side, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that Russia would face what he described as severe repercussions if it decided to invade Ukraine. He added that President Joe Biden prefers diplomacy in dealing with Moscow, if it adheres to this approach.

Karen Donfried, Assistant Secretary of State, also said that a date will be set with Moscow for a bilateral meeting with it, most likely next January. She added that her country had seen the Russian proposals, and was ready to hold diplomatic discussions with it through multiple channels.

And between the Russian and American positions, the Ukrainian president expressed his readiness to meet with his Russian counterpart to move forward in the peace process in the Donbass region.

Zelensky did not hide his disappointment at NATO’s reluctance to speed up the file of Kiev’s accession to the alliance.

The recent statements come amid mutual warnings between the parties to the struggle for influence in the contact area between Russia and NATO countries, while maintaining diplomatic options and dialogue at the same time.

At a time when Washington has warned of the consequences of any intervention by Moscow in Ukraine, in light of what it says is a military deployment of Russian forces near Ukraine’s borders, Moscow is vowing a harsh military response to any “hostile” steps taken against it.

Western countries accuse Russia of massing more than 100,000 troops near its border with eastern Ukraine, where Kiev has been locked in a conflict with pro-Moscow separatists since 2014.

Russia denies planning any invasion, and has demanded the United States and NATO for binding security guarantees, as well as the alliance to stop its eastward expansion.

Last week, Moscow informed the United States and NATO of its demands, and said that the alliance should not include new members and should not establish any military bases in former Soviet republics.

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