Biden slapped Putin. How will the Kremlin respond and what is China up to?
It is impossible to imagine a stronger foreign policy slap than this visit by Biden
Putin today received a political, diplomatic, emotional blow — however you call it. Why? Because it means that Biden, and the West in his person, demonstrated to Putin that they are not afraid of him. Kyiv is within reach of Russian missiles. But despite all this, and especially despite the level of security required for the President of the United States, it was neglected. In fact, the Americans are telling Putin “we are not afraid of your threat, your threat is a fiction. We were afraid of this, but in a year we realized that your puppet called the second army of the world is just a puppet."
What does it mean for us?
Now, despite the announcement of only certain types of weapons, everything that could help Ukraine to start the counteroffensive and begin the real liberation of the territories will be discussed.
Does this mean that America supports the idea of the complete collapse of Russia after our victory? Right now, it is unlikely. And, by the way, the discussions in Munich proved that the political opinion of the West has not yet gone that far.
To allow Ukraine to restore its territorial integrity — yes. Let Ukraine to break up the empire — no. At least for now.
There are many considerations and circumstances for this. But for now we're just stating the facts. This does not at all mean that we should stop going further with our work, but it is necessary to proceed from this reality, which is the state of the affairs for today and, most likely it will be difficult to convince both Biden and Macron and Scholz and everyone else that Russia must collapse. Although that doesn't mean anything. We have an example of the collapse of the USSR, when history did not listen to what the powers of this world said.
Now regarding what is happening in Moscow.
There is not only a visit by the head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wang Yi, but also preparations for Putin's speech before the so-called Federal Assembly. And it seems to me that now they are quickly rewriting a lot of parts of his speech, after what Biden said in Kyiv. Because the main idea of Putin's speech was that "we will continue our victorious offensive, we will not be intimidated, Russia will be on the side (from their point of view) of truth and justice."
There will not be years of war
Now, I think, they will have to change the tone of the performance, because Biden's visit is a clear demonstration that the West is steadfast, and if even the U.S. president risks being in Kyiv today, it means that the risk is justified. Therefore, I think, Putin's appeal to the same Chinese or North Koreans or Iranians (if this happens) will simply hang in the air. Because for all those who still think about supporting Russia, this visit by Biden is a very irrefutable proof that it is not worth playing here, the West stands firmly in the defense of Ukraine and on the side of Ukraine.
And China will offer on February 24, as promised, a peace plan, which, in my opinion, will support the Moscow line and will look something like this (then we will see how well our forecasts match): it will provide for the withdrawal of Russian troops to the lines as of February 23, 2022, despite the fact that Crimea and Donbas stay under Russian control, and on this basis implementing the freezing of the conflict and start of peace negotiations, which should, in the opinion of the Chinese, put an end to this war.
I think this is exactly what Wang Yi came to Moscow with. With this, China will perform on the 24th, as promised, in order to demonstrate its peace-loving nature. And the statements that China stands for territorial integrity will remain for later, so that the so-called "disputed territories" will be subject to additional discussion at the peace conference. This is something like that.
China has a very tricky position. It has understood that Russia is no longer a player, and it needs to have Russia more or less whole in order to get cheap energy resources from it (which is already happening) and itdoes not need any tectonic changes in the Russian Federation at all, because it is not known what will happen on its ruins, how it will be necessary to build relations with those who will come to power in certain regions of the Russian Federation. And on the other hand, China will sell its "peacefulness" to the West, saying, "We really want the war to finish, so let's think about cooperation, not China's struggle with the United States or China with the West. So we offer a really good peaceful option. You lived eight years in a row in such a situation. And what don’t you like about it right now? So, let's go back to what was already there, and then draw a line. And the fact that it's unfair, well, what, isn't everything in life unfair..."
So I think China will continue the game of "both yours and ours" and for this purpose it will issue these pseudo-peaceful initiatives in order to appease Putin on the one hand, and on the other hand not to spoil relations with the West.
At a press conference in Kyiv, Biden said, "We know that there are difficult days, weeks and years ahead. Putin's goal is to wipe Ukraine off the map."
Did this "difficult years ahead" resonate with me? I don't know what he meant by "years". There certainly won’t be years of war. This is obvious and it is clear to everyone. We simply do not have the time and effort for the "years of war". Therefore, I think there will not be years of war, but months to run its course. And here the role of the USA is decisive. And if Biden left here with firm convictions about tanks, which were also a kind of topic closed for discussion, but then became the topic of the tank coalition, jet fighters will not be added to the issue at hand, but first of all, long-range missiles, and at the second stage: jet fighters, then it won't be years — absolutely. Because if Ukrainian artillery will cover Crimea and the entire Donbas, then the question of liberating Ukrainian territory will clearly be measured not in years, but in weeks.
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