Today Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a State Department press conference, and closed-door sessions with members of Congress, announcing that the U.S. has provided written responses to Russia’s December texts of proposed security agreements. He also stated, “Additionally, NATO developed and will deliver to Moscow its own paper with ideas and concerns about collective security in Europe—and that paper fully reinforces ours, and vice versa. There is no daylight among the United States and our allies and partners on these matters.”
In reality, while Blinken’s remarks repeated his usual dark litany of accusations and threats against Russia, daylight is showing through from many directions, on how dangerous and how “British” this whole confrontationism is. Blinken may blow clouds of smoke about “unity,” input from “allies,” and the like, but reality is otherwise. Even a reporter asked Blinken, you talk about “a unified approach with Europe. What do you make of Germany’s stance?” She said, “Would you say that you’re happy or satisfied with Germany sending helmets to Ukraine instead of arms shipments?” Blinken could only huff and puff about how each country has “different capabilities.”
In brief, what Blinken did say in his press briefing, was that Russia is the aggressor against Ukraine, and warned, “We’ve lined up steep consequences, should Russia choose further aggression.” Blinken reiterated his “two path” sophistic approach to Russia: that Western militarization in Eastern Europe is the path of deterrence, but otherwise, the U.S. and the West are open to diplomacy, “should Russia choose it.”
On the so-called deterrence path, Blinken gave a full report. He said, “Three deliveries of U.S. defensive military assistance arrived in Kiev this week, carrying additional javelin missiles and other anti-armor systems, 283 tons of ammunition and non-lethal equipment…. More deliveries are expected in the days to come. We have provided more defensive security assistance to Ukraine in the past year than in any previous year…. Last week, I authorized U.S. allies—including Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—to provide U.S.-origin military equipment…. Also last week, we notified Congress of our intent to deliver to Ukraine the Mi-17 helicopters….” And 8,500 U.S. servicemen are on “heightened readiness to deploy” in case needed to “to harden the Allies’ eastern flank.”
Among the expanding opposition to this dangerous showdown are several political leaders and formations in Europe.
In Croatia, President Zoran Milanovic said this week that his country will in no way get involved in the Ukraine crisis, nor send soldiers. He states that Ukraine does not belong in NATO, and that it was the European Union (N.B., including the U.K.) that triggered a coup in Kiev in 2014. Moreover, Milanovic said, as reported by Euractiv, that the crisis has nothing to do with Ukraine or Russia, but is connected with the dynamics of the United States internal situation, and that international security problems reflect “inconsistencies and dangerous behavior” by the U.S.A.
In Spain, the Unidos Podemos party and eight smaller parties, all nine leftwing members of the Socialist Party’s governing coalition, have publicly opposed Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s decision to send military forces to participate in NATO’s buildup of forces against Russia, and are calling for an anti-war mobilization like that of 2003 which drove out the Aznar government that had deployed Spain’s military forces for George Bush’s war on Iraq. The existence of NATO itself is being questioned.
On Friday, Jan. 28, French President Emmanuel Macron will be speaking by phone to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Today in Paris, officials of the Normandy group of four nations—France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine, met for eight hours, and issued a statement. They plan to meet again in Berlin next month.
Today, Sputnik news ran an article reviewing the opposition in France and elsewhere in Europe to the U.S./U.K. showdown with Russia. Headlined, “French Politician: Puzzled by U.S. Warmongering, France & Germany Trying to Avoid EU Militarisation,” the article is based on an interview with Karel Vereycken, Vice-President of Solidarité & Progrès in France, who said that “France and Germany aren’t interested in dancing to the U.S., the U.K. and NATO’s tune—for good reason….”
The Schiller Institute is providing the critical platform internationally to wake up the world to the war danger and to what has to be done in foreign relations and economically, including emergency humanitarian action, to stop the conditions and perpetrators who created this terrible emergency. The website offers ammunition, and another international conference to rally action is in the works for early February.