Former US President Donald Trump added fuel to the already tense atmosphere of the Ukraine crisis by criticizing, on Tuesday (22), the way his successor, Joe Biden, is handling tensions between Russia and the West.
Trump highlighted his closeness to Vladimir Putin, stressing that the Russian president would “never act that way” under his rule.
“If managed well, there would be absolutely no reason for the crisis in Ukraine to unfold in this way,” the former US president said in a statement.
“I know Vladimir Putin very well and he would never do what he is doing now under the Trump administration, no way!” In response to the Russian President’s order to send troops to two separatist regions of Ukraine.
JULY/2018 – President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16, 2018 – Photo: Kevin Lamarck/Reuters/Archivo
Donald Trump’s rapprochement with Vladimir Putin has been the target of fierce opposition from the opposition during the Republican term. Trump, who dreams of the possibility of running again for the White House, also described the sanctions adopted by the Biden administration so far as “weak.”
“It is insignificant compared to the conquest of a country and territory located in a strategic position,” the former president charged. “Putin is not only getting what he always wanted, but he’s getting richer and richer with the oil and gas boom,” Trump added.
After the first cautious sanctions, aimed specifically at pro-Russian separatist regions of Ukraine, the White House promised to strengthen its response to Moscow. President Joe Biden announced that he would address the matter in a speech scheduled for Tuesday night.
NATO expects a large-scale attack
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg – Photo: Kenzo Tripuillard / AFP
Meanwhile, NATO expects a large-scale Russian attack on Ukraine and puts a reaction force on alert to defend its allies, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced on Tuesday.
“Everything indicates that Russia is planning a massive attack on Ukraine” after sending troops to the pro-Russian breakaway regions of Donbas in the east of the country, Stoltenberg said after an extraordinary meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Committee at NATO headquarters in Brussels.
Putin says peace agreements no longer exist
Putin during a speech on Russian television on Monday (21). Photo: Sputnik / Alexey Nikolsky / The Kremlin via Reuters
After a speech recognizing pro-Russian separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, the Russian president spoke again on Tuesday. “The Minsk agreements no longer exist, we recognize DNR and LNR,” he said, using acronyms for the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, citing Western-backed peace deals. The statement came shortly after the Russian Senate approved the deployment of troops outside Russia.
Putin has defended Ukraine’s disarmament, citing the weapons the country receives from its Western allies. “If our supposed partners are filling the Kiev authorities with modern weapons … the most important point is, to some extent, the demilitarization of present-day Ukraine,” he said.
Moscow considered that the “best solution” to end the Ukraine crisis is Kiev’s abandonment of its desire to join NATO. Putin concluded that “the best solution to this issue is for the authorities that are currently in power in Kiev alone to renounce joining NATO and remain neutral.”
The European Union agrees to the sanctions package
The 27 member states of the European Union unanimously approved on Tuesday a “sanction package” against Russia, following Moscow’s decision to recognize breakaway territories in eastern Ukraine.
Josep Borrell during a speech on Tuesday (22) – Photo: Sarah Messonnier/Reuters
“We have agreed unanimously on the first package of sanctions,” the head of French diplomacy, Jean-Yves Le Drian, announced after a meeting of 27 foreign ministers. Josep Borrell, the European Union’s diplomatic coordinator, said these sanctions “would do great harm to Russia.”
However, the unveiling of the first Western sanctions against Russia indicates a limited impact so far, both for Moscow and for Western economies. Olivier Dorgans, a lawyer specializing in economic sanctions at Ashurst, told AFP that the sanctions, which mainly target the Russian financial sector, “are in line with the strategy of a phased approach that excludes the energy sector.” But it highlights Germany’s decision to suspend the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
The Europeans and the British concentrated their first strikes on Russian finances. “The banks targeted by British sanctions are relatively smaller,” notes Olivier Dorgans, noting that much of Russia’s capital outside the country has already been returned as a precaution. Thus, ads targeting certain oligarchs and people involved in the conflict with Ukraine will also have a limited impact on the Russian economy.
However, the impossibility of the Russian state’s access to the European capital markets to refinance its debt, which is one of the sanctions proposed by the Old Continent, could be even more painful and affect the value of the ruble, and therefore the purchasing power of the ruble. Russian consumers.
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