In recent days, everything in the world seems mostly to revolve around the question of whether the war would soon break out in Europe, first between Russia and Ukraine, then somewhere else. The world and Europe have been since witnessed unprecedented intensities of international diplomatic moves by many actors. All have been aiming at preventing war.
|A Russian soldier at a guarding post near the border with Ukraine. Source: AFP/VNA|
US president Joe Biden and Russia's president Wladimir Putin called with each other three times. French President Emmanuel Macron and Germany's Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz went both to Russia to meet President Putin. Foreign ministers of many countries traveled across the continent. Diplomatic efforts have been intensified together with ongoing preparations by the US and its allies in Europe for the war scenario. Their strategy is certainly to try to prevent the Russian military from attacking Ukraine through diplomacy and deterrence but at the same time to be prepared for the war.
Theoretically, wars or military conflicts between Russia and Ukraine can not be excluded. But in today's world and Europe, wars between them are unlikely. Unlike during the times of Russia's wars with Georgia in 2008 and with Ukraine in 2014, Russia today has to deal with the US, Nato, and EU. And they are now firmly determined not to let Russia wage wars against Ukraine or to force Russia to pay at many aspects extremely painful and high prices for again having waged wars against Ukraine.
Until now, they have been going the right way by using diplomacy, direct meetings, and dialogues with Russia at all levels. Exploring every chance and possibility to make wars impossible before wars become possible is always worth to be done and necessary. But also until now, their approach seems to be wrong when they only focus on preventing wars and not on what Russia wanted with its military build-up along its border with Ukraine or in Belarus. For Russia, at the stake now isn't war with Ukraine like in 2014 but a new security constellation in Europe and its counterparts it wants to deal with are the US and Nato, not the EU, France, Germany or Britain, or other Nato members. Russia will play this game for a long time ahead and challenging the US, Nato, and EU on security in Europe like now is only one of Russia's trumps. As long as the US and Nato continue to refuse to at least formally negotiate with Russia on the continent's present and prospective security, the psycho war between Russia and the West about military war or not between Russia and Ukraine will go on.
Disclaimer: The views expressed by Ambassador Tran Duc Mau are of his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Hanoi Times.