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The EU Is Scrambling To Deescalate Conflict In Ukraine

  • The EU is calling for talks with Moscow as the face-off between Russia and the West continues to escalate.
  • Western leaders have pledged tough financial and other punitive measures to be implemented if Russia escalates militarily against Ukraine.

The European Commission chief and the EU's new French leadership have stressed the need for European involvement as Russia and the West continue to square off diplomatically over the possible threat of escalated conflict in Ukraine.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on January 7 that "one thing is clear: no solution without Europe. Whatever the solution, Europe has to be involved."

The United States and its EU partners have stepped up warnings of major consequences if Russia invades Ukraine as Moscow amasses troops near their shared border and presses demands for security guarantees against NATO expanding eastward.

Von der Leyen said the European Union is "very present" in Ukraine, including through giving billions in financial assistance to Kyiv and the bloc's reliance on Russian natural gas shipments via Ukraine.

Speaking alongside von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed direct U.S.-Russian talks slated for next week but stressed that "European security architecture" is "up to us to build."

France officially took up the six-month, rotating European Union Presidency at the start of January.

Western leaders are said to be working on what they have pledged are tough financial and other punitive measures to be implemented if Russia escalates militarily against Ukraine.

Macron said "it's a good thing that there are discussions between the United States and Russia," and added that "coordination between the Europeans and Americans is exemplary on the matter."

But he called for the European Union to hold its own talks with Moscow.

"Dialogue does not mean making concessions," he added.

NATO foreign ministers are scheduled to meet virtually on January 7 to coordinate members' approaches to Russia.

U.S. and Russian officials are to meet in Geneva on January 10. This will be followed by NATO-Russian and EU gatherings with discussion of the Ukraine crisis high on the agenda.



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  • Mamdouh Salameh on January 08 2022 said:
    The EU has been using alleged Russian threats to Ukraine as an excuse to delay the certification of Nord Stream 2 when in fact its action is the result of intense pressure on it from the United States to not certify it.

    The EU’s scrambling to deescalate the conflict with Russia over Ukraine means that the first chink in its armour is starting to appear. And why? Because of the still raging energy crisis sending energy and power prices to record levels. A harsh winter could make the situation particularly dire for Europe, which has been struggling to fill its gas reserves.

    Neither American, or Qatari or Australian LNG nor Norway’s gas exports could satisfy the EU energy demand. Only Russia can. However, Russia is disinclined to ship additional gas supplies to the EU without a certification of Nord Stream 2 and therein lies the rub.

    Therefore, a quid pro quo of additional gas supplies to the EU in return for an early
    certification of Nord Stream 2 begins to emerge. If not, the Europeans will shiver this

    Moreover, if the United States and the EU want peace on the Ukraine front, they have to sign binding treaties with Russia that Ukraine will never become a member of NATO. To President Putin, Ukraine joining NATO is “a red line”

    President Putin has warned NATO countries that deploying weapons or soldiers to Ukraine would cross a “red line” for Russia and trigger a strong response including a potential deployment of Russian missiles targeting Europe.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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