MOSCOW, 22 Sep 2021, RUSSTRAT Institute.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko simultaneously made several cautionary statements on Ukraine on September 20. The reason was the Rapid Trident 2021 joint Ukrainian-American exercises that started yesterday, as well as a proposal from several US congressmen to transfer the Iron Dome air defence system to Kiev.
A possible exit of Kiev from Minsk 2 is a “path to nowhere”, which will only lead to a prolongation of the conflict in the south-east, Rudenko stated. Hypothetical US air defence supplies to Ukraine will not contribute to the normalisation of the situation in Donbass, he added. And moreover, this “pumping of the muscles”, as well as other military preparations of “independent” Ukraine, are perfectly monitored by Russia and generally do not correspond to common sense, it follows from the words of the deputy minister.
In fact, the Russian Foreign Ministry has explained to Kiev for the thousandth time “what is good and what is bad”, but the latter has not been able to memorise the basic truths for seven years. “With the current Ukrainian leadership, it is difficult to predict anything and nothing can be excluded,” said Rudenko, delicately expressing himself. That is, Moscow has to deal with an inadequate counterpart, so it is forced to remind it endlessly that matches are not a toy for children.
However, the “Iron Dome” has no value. Washington purchased a pair of batteries of this system from Tel Aviv in 2019, but was never able to integrate them into its own military control mechanisms. And now, apparently, the former is thinking where to get rid of them according to the principle “You’re willing to sacrifice what you don’t want yourself”.
There is no doubt that among the “potential” buyers of the “Iron Dome” from the United States, one can name even Ukraine, even Zanzibar — only Kiev does not have a single hryvnia for these “pieces of iron”. And there is no sense with the “dome”: one can cover the area of a small town with it — and so what? And to cover mainly from the uncontrollable blanks of Hamas, and even then not from everyone. So the Russian Foreign Ministry has to repeatedly bring Kiev down from heaven to earth with the help of good advice: guys, well, this is not your thing! Better take care of the Minsk Agreements.
But not only the Russian Foreign Ministry calls on Ukraine to be more modest — Gazprom is paired with the Foreign Ministry. The company again refused to buy additional volumes of pumping its natural gas through the Ukrainian GTS from Kiev — this time in October. Due to the low occupancy of storage facilities, gas prices in Europe have soared above $900 per 1000 cubic meters — and this is clearly not the limit.
The idea that Gazprom is diligently trying to instil in Ukraine is just as simple: no one needs its gas transportation system, even for free. At least, additional transit capacities of the GTS at the current stage. Let’s better wait for the first gas supplies via Nord Stream 2, the Russian company transparently hints. Unlike the Ukrainian one, our pipe is fresh, with a needle, does not rust and does not fall apart.
Kiev’s stubbornness is beginning to irritate even the West. The US State Department, through the mouth of senior energy security adviser Amos Hochstein, has already addressed Kiev with urgent advice: stop suffering because of Nord Stream 2, this matter is finished. Upgrade your own energy better, so as not to be among the world outsiders.
Alas, as in the case of Donbass, Ukraine also demonstrates its main problem here — the inability to listen to good advice.
Elena Panina – Director of the RUSSTRAT Institute