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Some clarifications on the developments around Ukraine

By Embassy of Ukraine in Amman - Feb 12,2022 - Last updated at Feb 13,2022

The embassy is taking a note of an increasing number of publications in the local media dedicated to the ongoing escalation of tensions in Eastern Europe against the backdrop of active mobilisation of armed forces of the Russian Federation on the borders of Ukraine. In this regard the embassy deems it necessary to clarify a number of points that are crucially important to obtain a rather more comprehensive take on the current situation. 

First things first  —  the current situation is not a “Ukraine crisis”, as it was mentioned in a number of recent publications. It is a “Russia crisis”, a crisis of an actor who is actively and recklessly trying to undermine the existing security architecture in Europe and beyond, having invaded a sovereign state Ukraine in 2014 and illegally, in breach with all norms of international law, occupied its territories Krym, Donbas and Luhansk. In 2022 Russia appears to be increasingly at odds with the reality, in fact divorced from it abandoning the common sense and turning a blind eye on the catastrophic consequences that such a behaviour might entail. 

What is happening around Ukraine is not merely about Ukraine as it is explicitly vivid from the so-called ultimatum to the collective West disclosed to the public by the Russian Federation. The Russian ongoing aggression against Ukraine and claims to the need to rewrite the history of at least the last 25 years for other Eastern and Central European states undermine the entire international order and Euro-Atlantic security architecture. Even this reckless behaviour of Russia can send to those also seeking to rewrite the existing rules of the international order an anticipated message that principles enshrined in the UNs Charter can be challenged by the right of force. This must be stopped immediately.  

One might ask why it is happening now and why it is about Ukraine and NATO. Putin needs Ukraine outside of any viable collective or bilateral security arrangements under a pretext that it is a zone of its special interests including his greatest dream to restore the Soviet Union empire. Ukraine is not a zone but a sovereign state despite the fact that Moscow continues thinking in this kind of categories. Putin needs Ukraine unarmed and unprepared to deter any future Russian encroachment on its security and sovereignty. The military balance, the deterrence balance between Ukraine and Russia has been actively changing and Ukraine is increasingly becoming outside of a grasp for Russian military reflecting the growing capability of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to inflict mutually assured damage to Russia in case of a further aggression against our security and sovereignty. The acute nature of Russia’s demands towards US and NATO is the result of Moscow’s acknowledging that its aggressive strategy in Ukraine and in Europe is under threat and appears to be increasingly vulnerable. In the course of 2014-2022 Ukraine has gone a long way in building up its potential to counter possible new aggression emanating from Russia. The Russian Federation also understands that if it doesn’t act now, then in a year, two years time the chances for Russia to mount successful offensive operation will diminish and the price for such an action will be comprehensively higher.  

Russian winter escalation cycle in its essence is a mix of several strategic approaches combining elements of reflexive control, compellence strategy as well as the concept of “chicken game”. As a matter of fact, the so called “chicken game”, a conceptual model of the Cold War era nuclear deterrence, is the favourite playbook of the modern political leadership of the Russian Federation. In this unwitty “game” Russian leadership is portraying itself to be a driver that throws the wheel out of the window, declares out loud that it will not turn away and waits for his opponent to surrender. Yet Ukraine and its allies are holding strong and signalling to Moscow that this time it is Russia that needs to make a turn and de-escalate. Russia must pull back its forces amassed along Ukraine’s borders, in the temporarily occupied Crimea and parts of Donbas and Luhansk Genuine withdrawal of Russian forces from the border areas will be an important step towards deescalation of the situation.       

Ukraine and its partners are making concerted efforts to set up a comprehensive package of measures to deter the Russian Federation from further aggression against Ukraine. In addition to new economic sanctions and increased military support to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, these measures include active diplomacy aimed at keeping Russia engaged in a dialogue. In this regard Ukraine highly appreciates the diplomatic input of our partners, including the US, the UK, many partners in Europe, NATO and the EU, towards deescalation of the situation and revival of political settlement of the armed conflict. Active diplomacy can still bring positive results to avert the worst-case scenario.

40 million Ukrainians have demonstrated a stoic calmness under immense pressure, we have proved so many times and again that we do not want war but we are ready for war to survive and defend our own country. It is rather a unique moment in the modern history. It offers us a chance to end the era of strategic blackmail and strategic piracy that Russia has capitalized so successfully upon. The key for this is a strong Ukraine and strong international community united around Ukraine.

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