How the negotiations between Putin and Biden have influenced the crisis situation in Ukraine, whose partner India will eventually be — Russia or the USA, and why no one is going to disconnect Russia from the SWIFT payment system — Pravda. Ru editor-in-chief Inna Novikova talked about it in an interview with political scientist Sergey Mikheyev.
During the talks between presidents Putin and Biden, Russia asked for guarantees for NATO's non-expansion to the east. NATO responded that there would be no guarantees at all, and that the United States would continue acting as for the past decades before.
One has to distinguish here between what they say in public and what they actually do in reality. Indeed, the Americans are not going to give us any guarantees just like that, they will keep on deceiving Russia. It has recently transpired that the Americans were considering an option to accept partial autonomy of the Donbas within Ukraine, albeit it would be different from the one specified in the Minsk Accords. They supposedly wanted to make it look like an act of courtesy, to hold it up as a big concession for Russia. However, this is nothing but an act of deception to make Russia give up on Donbas.
The Americans will do everything to save their image. They will not move to meet any of Russia's requirements: the balance of power is wrong here. They had not met our requirements back during the Soviet times either, and they will not do it now.
The talks have not been held for nothing, though. Joe Biden said that the United States was not going to send US troops to Ukraine. Article 5 of the NATO Collective Security Treaty does not apply to Ukraine, so the Americans will not fight for Ukraine. Moreover, they have a plan to evacuate US citizens from Ukraine in case of an emergency. The Ukrainian authorities have thus received a clear message from the White House: if something happens, it is Ukrainian people who are going to die, it is the Ukrainian economy that is going to tumble down. The West will simply put more sanctions on Russia in return. This did not sound like consolation for Ukraine. This is one of the results of the talks between Putin and Biden.
Ukraine will not go to war with Russia without guarantees of support from other countries. However, there will be no support provided.
Zelensky's team needs to pretend now that everything is fine. In reality, however, the United States will continue feeding the Ukrainian regime just to keep it afloat. If Russia succeeds in having no NATO's military presence in Ukraine, this will be a success. However, this is not a solution to the Ukrainian crisis. If Ukraine continues having anti-Russian governments, if they make their propaganda machine work so that young Ukrainians grow up to despise Russia, it will constitute a big problem for Russia for many years to come.
Russia is now trying to use the crisis in Ukraine as a pretext for negotiations on broader geopolitical topics. Russia's security guarantees are not limited to Ukraine alone.
The United States is concerned about the emerging alliance between Russia and China. There is also India, a huge power too. Russia and India have signed a number of large-scale agreements recently. To what extent is the West ready to oppose this alliance?
I do not see any prospects for cooperation between the United States and India that could threaten Russia. This is primarily a game on the contradictions between India and China. The Americans need India as a country that can compete with China. There is a long-standing territorial conflict between China and India. If Russia could be a mediator and propose a solution to the conflict, this would be a major breakthrough into the future.
The Americans can not offer their mediation. They can use India to put pressure on China to exacerbate a potential conflict. Russia could show up here as a peacemaker. The trio of Russia, India and China could change the balance of power in the world and create serious competition to the West too, provided that all the three countries are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
Putin's visit to India has shown that the Americans will not be able to use India in their anti-Russian manipulations. The agreements that India and Russia have concluded in the military sphere directly contradict the US law on sanctions against the countries that buy Russian weapons. Unfortunately, the law has affected the sales of the Russian arms internationally.
The West has been trying to disconnect Russia from the SWIFT payment system for a few years already. Can they have international institutions involved for the purpose?
If they do it, they will not avoid consequences. This is an international system, and Russia is a major player in it. When they make such threats, they cause damage to the dollar, the euro and the entire payment system, which is based on the US dollar. This is beneficial to third currencies, such as the yuan. If this happens, Russia will have to find an available alternative. If Russia is disconnected from SWIFT, the country is not going to die of hunger. The Russian economy will take a dramatic turn towards alternative currencies and the domestic currency too.
Such a turn of events will make competitors of the West stronger and discredit the SWIFT system per se. If it turns out that such huge players as Russia can be disconnected from the system for far-fetched political reasons, it would mean that the system is unreliable.
Such a move will affect the European and even American economies too as Europe and America are the main buyers of Russia's debt obligations. It's like with Nord Stream 2. Dozens of European companies have invested huge money in the project. Therefore, if they want to impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2, they will cause a huge blow to those companies at a time.
Technically, one can disconnect Russia from SWIFT, but this will entail a cascade of negative consequences — short and long-term ones — for everyone else.
A Russian fighter with call sign Rassvet (Sunrise) destroyed an Abrams tank in the area of Avdiivka, the 15th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade said