Rhetoric from US and Russian officials is heating up. Fighting on the ground is becoming more dangerous. And there is no sign of a reduction in the war being waged using the tools of economic warfare.
The events of the last few days have made it clear that the gulf between Moscow and its opponents is widening, diminishing the prospects for diplomacy. Ukraine and its Western backers seem to be losing patience with Russia as it moves forward with an attack that, if successful, threatens to destroy the post-World War II world order. Is.
The United States and the European Union have already imposed a series of sanctions aimed at hurting the Russian economy, but a new effort to send much-needed weapons to Ukraine is gaining momentum. Representatives from 40 countries gathered this week at Germany’s Ramstein Air Base to help organize and coordinate arms shipments.
Listeners in the Kremlin may see Austin’s statement as evidence that Washington and the West are seeking a civil war in Russia and to prevent it, as Putin has long promised, a global superpower. Re-emergence as it was during the Cold War.
“It seems that they are not really interested in negotiations, and those who are demanding that Russia not win and others are demanding that Russia be defeated and Russia be destroyed in order to destroy Russia, which is Ukraine. “We have a lot of weapons,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday. “If it continues, it doesn’t look like negotiations will be fruitful.”
Moscow’s efforts in the economic war are now moving beyond sanctions. Russia’s state-owned energy gazprom said on Wednesday it would cut off natural gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, with both countries apparently refusing to pay in rubles. In fact, it means that Russia is now turning its energy exports into weapons.
Polish Prime Minister Matthews Moravic called the move a “direct attack” and European Commission President Arsula van der Leyen called it “blackmail.” The two leaders said officials were preparing the scenario.
Bulgarian Energy Minister Alexander Nikolov said it was clear that natural gas was being used more as a political and economic weapon in the current war.
Russia shows some signs of retreating despite the West’s more aggressive approach. Lavrov even warned that the threat of nuclear war was “real, and cannot be underestimated.”
The decision to give Ukraine better weapons could ultimately help it win the war. But while Russian troops are being fired upon by Western weapons, Putin may not be inclined to sue for peace.
CNN’s Natasha Bertrand, Kylie Atwood, Kevin Liptick and Alex Markardt contributed to this report.