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Another "Last Ditch" Effort to Stop Russia in Repetitive Groundhog Day

France is meeting with Russia and the US will meet again next week. China wants in on the act too.
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Macron and Putin hold "last ditch" talks, image Reuters via Aljazeera

Macron and Putin hold "last ditch" talks, image Reuters via Aljazeera

Another ‘Last Ditch’ Effort 

Biden held last ditch efforts, then Germany, now France gets its turn to stop Russia from invading Ukraine.  

France24 reports Macron Holds ‘Last Ditch’ Talks with Putin, US Warns Russia ‘Poised to Strike’ Ukraine.

French President Emmanuel Macron had a phone conversation with Russia's Vladimir Putin on Sunday in a “last ditch” diplomatic bid to avert an invasion of Ukraine as US President Joe Biden convenes a rare Sunday meeting with his national security team amid White House warnings of an attack “at any time”.

Macron’s last ditch diplomatic bid came even as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on his country’s Western allies to stop "a policy of appeasement" towards Moscow.

The telephone conversation between Macron and Putin lasted 105 minutes, after which the French president briefed his Ukrainian counterpart, said the Élysée presidential palace without providing details of the talks.

Agree to Work for Ceasefire   

In a different different slant on Macron's effort. Aljazeera says Macron, Putin Agree to Work for Ukraine Ceasefire

French President Emmanuel Macron and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have agreed to work for a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, with the foreign ministers of the two countries set to meet in the coming days.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is willing to meet Putin to find out “what the Russian president wants” and seek a “peaceful settlement” amid growing concern over a possible imminent invasion.

It does not take a meeting to understand what Russia wants. Putin does not want Ukraine in NATO with NATO missiles on its border. 

This is not much different than the US not wanting Russian missiles in Cuba. 

Meanwhile, in Belarus

The Wall Street Journal reports Russia Extends Belarus Drills for Thousands of Troops as Ukraine Violence Escalates

Shelling across the cease-fire line in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region intensified in recent days, with Russian-installed authorities in areas controlled by Moscow since 2014 ordering the mobilization of fighting-age men and urging the evacuation of women and children. Kyiv and its Western partners say these moves are part of a Russian propaganda campaign to justify a full-fledged military invasion of Ukraine, which President Biden has said he expects to happen within days.

Mr. Macron said that Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany will resume talks in the so-called Normandy format based on proposals presented by Kyiv in recent days. He and Mr. Putin agreed on the “necessity to favor a diplomatic solution to the crisis, and to do everything to achieve it,” according to the French account of the conversation.

The Kremlin, in its statement Sunday, blamed Mr. Zelensky for refusing to implement the so-called Minsk agreements that ended major combat in Donbas in 2015, and that—in Moscow’s interpretation—could give Russian proxies a significant say in Ukraine’s new setup, potentially halting the country’s alignment with the West.

Still, the Kremlin said Mr. Putin agreed to “intensify the search for solutions through diplomatic means,” including by holding another meeting on the Minsk accords between the four nations’ senior advisers in the Normandy format. While the first such meeting in Paris in January led to some progress, the second in Berlin earlier this month ended in failure.

US Repeats False Flag Allegations

On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the continuation of Russian military exercises and massing of troops on the Ukraine border is part of the predicted groundwork Moscow has been laying for a Russian invasion of its smaller neighbor.

“All of this, along with the false flag operations that we’ve seen unfold over the weekend tells us that the playbook we laid out is moving forward,” he said.

What About Ships in the Baltic Sea?

Hey, I'm glad you asked.

On Friday, six amphibious ships from Russia’s Baltic and Northern Fleets repositioned near the port of Chornomorske, on Crimea’s western cape, roughly 40 miles from the coastline of Ukraine’s southern Kherson region, according to Andrii Klymenko, a defense and maritime analyst with the Black Sea Institute of Strategic Studies, a Ukrainian think tank. Supporting the landing craft are a corvette, a missile boat, a minesweeper and rescue tugs, Mr. Klymenko said.

The lack of activity relative to previous Russian exercises on the Black Sea left Ukrainian officials to speculate about Russian intentions.

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Lack of Activity Increases Speculation

Please note that both the lack of activity and activity increases speculation about what Russia will do.

It's entirely possible if not likely that all these efforts by Putin are nothing more than psychological ploys in an effort to achieve diplomatic gains. 

China Warns Russia Against Invasion

Please note that China wants in on the last ditch savior act too. 

"After strongly supporting Moscow’s standoff with the West over Ukraine, Beijing aligns its position closer to Washington’s" says the Wall Street Journal in Behind China’s Warning Against a Russian Invasion Is a Desire to Protect Ties With the U.S.

China’s more explicit warnings in recent days against a Russian invasion of Ukraine show how Beijing is walking a tightrope, trying to build up a partnership with the Kremlin while preventing its relationship with Washington from becoming outright hostile.

A shared interest in confronting the U.S. has driven the China-Russia relationship to its closest point since the early years of the Cold War seven decades ago.

But since Chinese President Xi Jinping this month gave his Russian counterpart his strongest support to date in Moscow’s standoff with the West, Beijing has been calling for a resolution of the crisis through diplomatic channels, aligning its position closer to that taken by the U.S. and its allies.

The shift in tone, say Chinese diplomats and advisers to the Chinese government, comes after days of closed-door deliberations by top leaders and reflects Beijing’s desire to avoid an even more adversarial relationship with Washington that could cause China to be isolated from the West and hurt the country’s development in the long run.

Groundhog Day Will Continue!

  • Ukraine will meet with Russia hoping to figure out what Putin wants although it is perfectly obvious.
  • Macron will meet with Putin so he can position himself as the hero who got Putin to see the light.
  • China is the most recent "me too" entry in the diplomatic shuffle.
  • Germany held one last ditch meeting with Putin already but I expect another. 
  • The US repeats its groundhog day effort with continual, yet idle threats against Russia. Then if invasion does not happen, president Biden will surely take credit for Putin backing down. 
  • In an effort to regain center stage, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken wants to meet Russian counterparts next week. 
  • More Minsk talks! Heck, if those get started, they could go on for months if not years.

Add it all up and Groundhog Day will continue with the US repeating the same "imminent threat" message every day. 

It's All Propaganda

Nothing anyone says stands out as being more believable than rest.

In case you missed it, please see Ukraine Says Major Escalation Probability is Low, US Says Russia Will Attack.

Meanwhile, the US, China, France, and Germany all want to be the hero that prevents the invasion while conceding nothing to Russia in the process.

This post originated on MishTalk.Com.

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