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Disagreements grow in the West over conflict with Russia around Ukraine

Western analysts demonstrate different stands on the continuing conflict with Russia.  American and European political elites sometimes express quite opposite views on the issue. For instance, former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt has criticized Germany’s current policy. The 96-year-old statesman recalls that Russia is Europe’s neighbor and it is necessary to understand it, while Ukraine is a young state with “volatile history.” Talking to Das Erste TV, Schmidt said the present-day crises are equally dangerous, whether it is the euro crisis, the Ukraine crisis, or the threat of Islamism.  He slammed Europe’s Russian policy and the attempts “to expand the EU up to Ukraine and Georgia.” Schmidt is convinced that the confrontation with Russia is a mistake.

In this light, the Russian defense ministry comes out with peaceful statements. In particularly, as EADaily reported earlier, Deputy Defense Minister of Russia Anatoly Antonov said Russia will not war against Ukraine under any circumstances. Quite the contrary, he said, Russia will be helping Europe and Kiev in preventing resumption of the military actions.

"We will not wage war against Ukraine under any circumstances. Ukraine is not our enemy! I cannot even theoretically imagine it. I think that Kiev will also be smart enough not to provoke us," Antonov said. “Furthermore, I hope Germany and France will use their influence not to let Kiev resume the military actions in the southeast of the country. Russia will help Europe in its efforts.”

Meanwhile, independent political analysts say such tactics will hardly help avoiding confrontation, as the U.S. lobby – in fact, the moderator of the process in Ukraine – is rather ambiguous. “I don’t think Barack Obama has such plans. On the other hand, such sentiments are possible in the special services, CIA,” says Boris Mezhuyev, political analyst.  It should be taken into account, he says, that the relations of Moscow and Washington are developing amid provocations. “The point is that in the Congress there are many forces that seek to prompt tougher sanctions against Russia and further confrontation,” Mezhuyev says.

“The United States as such is not a single center of geopolitical decisions,” says Alexander Perenjiyev, expert at the Association of Independent Military Analysts. “Disputes inside the country trigger different foreign policy initiatives. Sure, in the U.S. there are forces that would like to involve Russia into a war in Ukraine. There are even some that would like to see a war between Russia and U.S. And the interests of these two groups often coincide.”

“Today, despite all the discrepancies inside the USA, there is a major geopolitical interest – to involve Russia into a war.  Whether they also will manage to draw the U.S. into it is a secondary issue. The most important is to turn Russia into a party to the conflict,” he says.  Perenjiyev thinks this will help them present Russia as an aggressor without any reservations and increase the spending on the U.S. army and the military-industrial facilities. The expert is sure that this is within the interests of those who benefit from the production of weapons and the activity of private military companies.   

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