Dangerous and irresponsible for US and NATO to push Russia step by step
Published: Mar 27, 2023 09:07 PM
Illustration:Liu Rui/GT

Illustration:Liu Rui/GT

When it comes to the Ukraine issue, the West and Russia have never stopped testing and pressuring each other. The greater the pressure the US and NATO apply on Russia, the greater Russia's counterattack will be. 

NATO criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for what it called his "dangerous and irresponsible" nuclear rhetoric on Sunday, a day after Putin said he planned to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, Reuters reported. On the same day, the EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell threatened on Twitter that "The EU stands ready to respond with further sanctions."

As for the recent escalation, the reason is UK's irresponsible decision to provide depleted uranium munition to Ukraine. On the one hand, depleted uranium munitions have already exceeded the red line that Russia can accept. On the other, this shows Western countries like the UK have no bottom line in providing weapons to Ukraine. As a response,  Russia has opted for deploying tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus.

Now, NATO has come out to accuse Russia of breaking its own arms control commitments. But in fact, the US has long been a violator of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times that the US has deployed tactical nuclear weapons in European countries, including Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey, which means the US has long deployed its tactical nuclear weapons at Russia's doorstep, posing a significant threat to Russia's national security. Russia's reaction this time is not just aimed at the UK's move, but more about the US.

"Russia's planned deployment of its tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus is not only a response to NATO's past and current provocations, but also is aimed at deterring US' potential provocations, dealing with what is about to happen," said Song.

Belarus is a key choice for Russia, as its geographical location is ideal. It is not far from Poland, Germany, the Baltic countries and even the Nordic countries. If tactical nuclear weapons are deployed there, it will have a huge strategic deterrent effect on some neighboring NATO countries near Russia, Song noted.

Nevertheless, whether the US and NATO impose various sanctions on Russia or continuously provide weapons to Ukraine, they are actually moving toward a more dangerous direction. It won't help solve the Ukraine issue, but will only lead to a vicious circle, escalating the nuclear arms race and ultimately developing into a situation that no one wants to see.

Wang Shuo, a professor at the School of International Relations of Beijing Foreign Studies University, pointed out that knowing that the situation could get worse, the US is still pressuring Russia, and the purpose behind it is to maintain its hegemonic system. In addition, during the Cold War, the US used extreme pressure tactics against the Soviet Union, which eventually dragged the Soviet Union down, so today Washington still wants to apply the same tactics.

Now, the peace forces mediating the Ukraine-Russia conflict are still relatively insufficient. European countries have been kidnapped by the US to provide weapons to Ukraine, and even countries like Japan have gone to great lengths to provide assistance to Ukraine. This all serves the interests of the US, whose purpose is to force European countries, and even Indo-Pacific countries, to help the US counter Russia and drag it down. Since this goal has not been achieved, Washington does not want peace now.

It is the US that is pushing Russia step by step. Washington does not want to see a victory for Russia on the Ukrainian battlefield. If Ukraine loses, it means NATO loses, which also means the US loses its global leadership and hegemony, a price that it cannot afford. Consequently, when China proposed a complete, systematic and dialectical 12-point peace proposal, the US was among the first to come out to deny it. The peace proposal takes into account all aspects and is practical. The fact that the US is eager to dismiss it shows that it doesn't want peace.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is a "proxy war" that the US has imposed on Europe. If the US and Russia cannot reach a compromise, there can be no peace between Russia and Ukraine. But if the conflict continues, not only will Russia and Ukraine be damaged, but also Europe's security dilemma will worsen. The more Europe tries to be safe, the more insecure it becomes.