Ukraine: Transnistria, martial law in Russia, and the risk of conflict escalation raise fears of a protracted war

The master of the Kremlin will not be confined to the Donbass, Washington estimates on Tuesday, May 10, while the Russian oil embargo agreement may intervene this week according to France. The goal of what we remember today.

American intelligence, which predicted the invasion of Ukraine, is now predicting a protracted war. “We believe that President Putin is preparing for a protracted conflict in Ukraine, during which he still intends to achieve goals beyond Donbass,” the head of US intelligence said at a hearing Tuesday in Congress.

US intelligence services believe that the Russian military wants to “make a land bridge” (in southern Ukraine) to Transnistria, a region of Moldova that seceded in 1990.

Transnistria, martial law…the risk of escalation

She added that if “the Russian forces can achieve this goal in the coming months, they will not be able to reach Transnistria and annex Odessa without issuing a decision of some form of general mobilization.”

Vladimir Putin, in fact, at this point does not have the means for his ambitions, according to his analysis. This “may mean that we will develop in the coming months according to A more unexpected path and possible escalation‘,” noted April Haines.

“The current trend increases the chances that President Putin will turn to tougher measures, including the introduction of martial law,” she said. How far will Vladimir Putin go? According to the head of US intelligence, he “will not order the use of nuclear weapons unless he sees it.” existential threat of the Russian state or system.

Analysis that overlaps with that of many experts, such as Carol Grimaud Potter of Montpellier, Tuesday, in our columns. And the Russian president can resort to this extremism “if he believes that he is losing the war in Ukraine and that NATO is either interfering or preparing to intervene.” But even under this premise, it would “likely send signals” before doing so, Avril Haines noted.

To satisfy his ambitions, she warned the Kremlin master “is likely to weaken the resolve of the United States and the European Union when food shortages and high energy prices are exacerbated.”

Joe Biden already sent a clear message to the Kremlin master on Monday by signing a law to speed up shipments of military equipment to Ukraine. Thus reactivating a symbolic device dating back to World War II.

Moreover, the US Congress is still following the White House tenant in its unwavering support for the city of Kyiv. He is now working on a new envelope of nearly $40 billion.

France believes in this week’s agreement on Russian oil

French Minister of State for European Affairs Clement Bonn said on Tuesday that European Union countries should reach an agreement “within the week” on a draft Russian oil embargo.

“I think we can reach an agreement within the week, and that is in any case the goal of the French presidency” of the European Union Council, he said, adding that “there will be a sixth package of European sanctions.”

This new series of anti-Russia sanctions proposed by the European Commission last week comes in response to the Russian attack on Ukraine that began on February 24, in the face of the reluctance of many of the bloc’s countries, notably Hungary, which is heavily dependent on Russia’s imports. oil.

New discussions are scheduled for late Tuesday morning between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and several European leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron.

But a spokesperson for the commission said that this video conference will not eventually take place today, without giving further details.

On the other hand, in the morning, bilateral talks took place between Emmanuel Macron and Victor Urban on energy security in Europe, according to the Elysee.

“It was a matter of following up on the discussions between Ursula von der Leyen and Viktor Urban to finalize, in a spirit of solidarity, the necessary guarantees of oil supply conditions in Member States that are currently in a very difficult situation. Specifically with regard to pipeline supplies from Russia,” the Elysee said. .

The Elysee added that discussions were continuing at all levels to reach a “complete agreement as soon as possible” on a sixth set of sanctions against Moscow.

“We are looking for solutions,” said Clement Bonn, referring for example to deadlines appropriate to national specificities or alternative supply guarantees, to reassure countries most dependent on Russian oil on European solidarity in order to preserve the bloc’s unity against Russia.

Barbouk calls for justice for the Butche victims

German Foreign Minister Annalina Barbock began a visit to Ukraine on Tuesday, the first by a senior member of Berlin’s government since Russia invaded the country on Feb. 24.

Annalina Barbuk first went to Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, where Russian forces are suspected of committing war crimes. Moscow rejects these allegations.

The bodies of several civilians were found in early April in the streets of this city northwest of the Ukrainian capital after it was recaptured by Kyiv forces.

Annalina Barbuk, accompanied by the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, demanded that those responsible for the alleged atrocities committed in the city be brought to justice.

“This is what we owe to the victims,” ​​she said. And these victims, you can feel very strong here, it could have been us.”

The German foreign minister’s visit comes amid de-escalation of tensions between Berlin and Kiev, sparked by previous statements by the German government in favor of dialogue with Russia or Germany’s initial refusal to supply Ukraine with heavy weapons.

Germany has since become one of Ukraine’s main arms suppliers and advocates the application of severe sanctions against Russia, including the possibility of an embargo on Russian oil.

In mid-April, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a long-time supporter of the policy of reconciliation with Moscow and a social democratic ally of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, claimed that a visit he was planning to make to Ukraine was deemed undesirable by the Kyiv authorities.

The dispute appears to have now been settled, with Olaf Scholz and Frank-Walter Steinmeier receiving an invitation from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to visit the country.

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