Lethal weapons to Ukraine .. Did Washington fire a “mercy bullet” on the understanding with Moscow?

Observers rule out that the US supplying Kiev with lethal weapons would block the horizon for any understanding with the Kremlin. It is too early to talk about the Russian response to Washington’s move before the (written) response to the request for security guarantees arrives within the next week.

Moscow – Just one day after the end of the Russian-American summit that brought together the foreign ministers of the two countries in Geneva, and in a move as if it had been prepared in advance, the United States delivered Ukraine 90 tons of what it described as “lethal aid.”

The US embassy in Kiev said, in a statement, that these weapons, worth $2.7 billion, “help strengthen its defense (Ukraine) in the face of increasing Russian aggression.”

A few days ago, the United States agreed to proposals from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to send American-made weapons to Ukraine, including anti-armor and anti-aircraft missiles.

A video clip, released by the Pentagon on the 21st of this month, showed the loading of the aforementioned weapons to Kiev, which include Javelin anti-tank missile systems in addition to offensive munitions designed to destroy fortified bunkers and light armored vehicles.

for and against

At a time when voices are rising opposing the US role in the Ukrainian crisis, and demanding that the administration of President Joe Biden refrain from getting involved in a conflict that does not serve US interests, in turn, calls for imposing new restrictions on Russia are increasing.

For example, James Gilmore, former US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, called for Russia to be excluded from all international organizations, starting with this organization, in the event of an escalation of the situation in Ukraine, making it a “pariah among civilized countries”.

Moreover, to also contain Russia, Gilmore called on the Biden administration to expedite the admission of neutral Sweden and Finland into NATO.

Bullet of mercy?

The timing of the US move raises questions about the goal behind raising the level of escalation very sharply this time with Moscow, and whether the weapons sent to Ukraine will help it in a hypothetical confrontation with the Russian army.

At the same time, does it constitute a blockage to any understandings with the Kremlin, and a “mercy bullet” to the Russian proposals regarding “security guarantees”.

Military analyst Vasily Kashin stresses that the weapons that Washington sent to Kiev are primarily political in nature, to raise the morale of the authorities there, although they may contribute to some extent in raising the capabilities of the Ukrainian forces in the event of a clash with armed factions in Donetsk and Lugansk, or even With Russia, and causing losses to the other side.

However, he stresses that sending these American weapons will not in any case lead to a tangible superiority of the Ukrainian forces, due to the weakness and oldness of the air defense system, and all other weapons and ammunition available to it.

Kashin continues his talk to Al Jazeera Net, by saying that the nature of the weapons obtained by Kiev cannot significantly change the balance of power, especially in the case of a supposed clash with Russian forces, and that Washington “has not and will not provide weapons capable of decisive dealing with its Russian counterpart, for several reasons. Chief among them is the lack of confidence in Ukrainian institutions.

He explains that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine turned into an open arena for massive activity by foreign intelligence, especially Asian ones, adding that it is no longer a secret the size of military secrets and weapons models that were seized by Chinese, Iranian and North Korean intelligence, at different stages, nor Especially in the nineties of the last century.

Although he denies that Russia intends to strike the Ukrainian forces, this military analyst believes that in the event of any military scenario of conflict with Ukraine, the Russian air defense systems will not face any difficulties in destroying their Ukrainian counterpart easily, disrupting their control system and causing them to spiral out of control. And then, in his opinion, the system of anti-tank weapons sent by the United States will not be of any importance.

The majority of Russian observers’ opinions are that Washington is working to escalate the situation around the Ukrainian borders in order to strengthen its position in any future negotiations with Moscow, especially security guarantees in Europe.

While the White House reiterates that Russia maintains a large military presence on the border with Ukraine, it asserts that it moves its forces exclusively on its territory and does not agree with those who are trying to challenge its sovereign right to do so.

The horizon is not blocked

The chief researcher at the Institute of European Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Olnenko, considers that Washington’s decision to send “lethal weapons” puts on its shoulders responsibility for the arrival of these weapons, at a minimum, in the future to extremist and anti-Russian forces inside Ukraine, explaining that the right-wing and nationalist currents there have significant weight. And the impact on the political decision in this former Soviet republic.

In his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, he asserts, “Moscow has done everything it can to avoid interfering with the Ukrainian crisis in its relations with Washington to prevent it from being pushed into further collision, and to hold a stable dialogue based on the fact that the security of any party cannot be secured at the expense of the security and interests of the other.”

The researcher rules out that the current US decision will obstruct the horizon for any understanding with the Kremlin, stressing that it is too early to talk about the Russian response to Washington’s move before the (written) response to the request for security guarantees arrives within the next week, as promised by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. During his meeting in Geneva with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

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