Still a risk of military conflict in Ukraine: Analyst

A U.S.-based analyst warned Wednesday that “the risk of military conflict is still very much in play,” echoing United States and NATO’s claims that Russia was still building up troops around Ukraine despite Moscow’s insistence it was pulling back.
“There are real reasons to be skeptical, and in my view, it’s just as plausible that these gestures towards diplomacy (Putin’s) really could be about buying more time in order to move forces into position. And I think to shape the narrative, right, so that Russia can try to present itself as a responsible global actor trying to resolve this politically,” Andrea Kendall-Taylor of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) told Reuters TV questioning President Vladimir Putin’s stated desire to negotiate a solution to the crisis.
“He (Putin) doesn’t threaten things that he isn’t prepared to do. I’m sure he’s thought through those scenarios, and it’s likely to me that they are at least prepared to do that if they view that that’s necessary to advancing Russian objectives, ” she added.
Russia’s defense ministry said its forces – part of a huge buildup that has been accompanied by demands to the West for sweeping security guarantees – were pulling back after exercises in southern and western military districts near Ukraine.
Russia said on Tuesday some of its troops were returning to base after exercises near Ukraine, but NATO and the United States said they had yet to see any evidence of a de-escalation that could avert war, Reuters reported.
US President Joe Biden responded that Washington had not yet verified the demobilization, and said Russia still very much posed a threat.
“We have not yet verified the Russian military units are returning to their home bases. Indeed, our analysts indicate that they remain very much in a threatening position. And the fact remains, right now, Russia has more than 150000 troops encircling Ukraine and Belarus and along Ukraine’s border.”
Russia did not say how many units were pulling back.
Its deployment of some 130,000 troops to the north, east and south of Ukraine triggered alarms in Western capitals that a military operation could be imminent.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday, denied again his country sought conflict.
“Do we want it or not? Of course, not. That is why we have offered our proposals to start the negotiation process, which should lead to an agreement of providing equal security for everybody, including our country.”
Speaking from the White House, Biden said he was committed to finding a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
But he warned the Russian people that military aggression in Ukraine would be bloody, costly, and would be met with international condemnation.The post Still a risk of military conflict in Ukraine: Analyst first appeared on Ariana News.

Source: Ariana News

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