The United States is preparing for the worst. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned of “further Russian aggression against Ukraine”.
The Secretary of State stressed to his Chinese counterpart during a telephone call that such an “aggression” would threaten not only security but also the world economy.
A message that will not have aroused the fear of China. Quite the contrary. The Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs appealed to “all parties for calm, to refrain from increasing tensions and escalating the crisis”. And to support the “reasonable concerns” of Russia.
Since last November, the tension shows between Russia on one side, Ukraine, the United States and NATO countries on the other. At issue: Moscow massing its troops on the Ukrainian border – nearly 100,000 soldiers – a situation raising fears of a scenario similar to the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
On January 24, the United States placed 8,500 soldiers on alert, ready to intervene within five days. And NATO is sending combat ships and planes to Eastern Europe.
Mediation of France and Germany
France and Germany are playing mediators on their side. On Wednesday, advisers to French Presidents Emmanuel Macron, Russian Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met for more than eight hours at the Elysee Palace.