Biden gives green light to US weapons against Russia, Moscow evokes “nuclear deterrence” plans


By John

Turning point in the use of Western weapons granted to the Ukrainians to strike Russia: according to Politico, Joe Biden has “secretly” authorized Kiev to strike with US weapons but only in the area near Kharkiv and not at long range. The decision comes as NATO foreign ministers meet in Prague to take stock in view of the Washington summit, scheduled for July. There are various topics to be discussed on the table – the deterrence plans towards Russia, the appointment of the new general secretary – but no one hides that Ukraine will once again dominate the discussion.

Because the offensive in Kharkiv is of “serious concern” and the situation on the ground remains tense. The debate on restrictions on the use of weapons supplied to Kiev – to remove them or not – has come to a head, with the majority of allies now in the “hawk” camp. «We are making progress», assures the Czech minister Jan Lipavskì. And in the evening comes the American turning point that could change everything. Mosca observes the evolution of the picture with a certain apprehension.

Because he knows that, if the interventionist line prevails as it seems, he will no longer be able to move troops casually across the border (and drop glider bombs in complete safety). So he threatens retaliation and accuses NATO of fomenting the escalation.

Foreign Minister Serghei Lavrov evokes plans for “nuclear deterrence” if the Americans implement the “deployment of medium and short range land-based missiles”, while the Kremlin spokesman points the finger at the allies because “they are pushing in every possible way the 'Ukraine to continue this senseless war.”

In reality, upon closer inspection, the belligerent NATO also has its own problems (to Putin's delight). The Alliance – according to what the Financial Times claims – would currently be able to provide “less than 5%” of the air defense capabilities deemed necessary to protect its members in Central and Eastern Europe from a large-scale attack. Lipavskì – recalling that the Soviet tanks crushed the Czechoslovakian spring, right in Prague – turned the narrative on its head.

«Moscow has decided for escalation: Putin, after the inauguration, feels strong, he decreed the offensive in Kharkiv and we see sabotage attempts in NATO countries, such as Poland and the United Kingdom: I am sure that greater provocations than this will occur like,” he warned. “We must react appropriately and show strong commitment to defending ourselves.” And to guarantee security in Europe we must stop the Russians in Ukraine.

Jens Stoltenberg in Prague once again encouraged the allies, especially the recalcitrant ones. «Kiev continues to fight courageously but the challenges it faces are increasingly greater and growing: it can still prevail only, however, with constant and solid support from NATO», he remarked. Antonio Tajani was very clear on this point.

“For us, the Constitution prevents us from waging war on other countries, therefore Italian weapons must be used in Ukrainian territory, for defense,” he specified. Stoltenberg also proposed to “institutionalize” aid coordination under the NATO umbrella and “inject” new resources for military support to Kiev (the famous 100 billion plan in 5 years, which according to unconfirmed rumors could be reconfigured in 40 years year, to understand in what time frame).

Well, there is talk about it but there is a certain skepticism about the precise figure, if there ever will be one. The work is ongoing and will mature in time for the Washington summit. Then there is France's leap forward on the 'boots on the ground' front.

Paris is about to finish the job and intends to announce it probably during Volodymyr Zelensky's visit for the celebrations of the Normandy landings. In particular. It is a coalition of the willing – outside the NATO framework – open to other allies, such as Poland and Lithuania. It would involve initially sending a few dozen specialists to identify training needs and then, subsequently, a mission of a few hundred military instructors. It ends with Prague's commitment on ammunition.

The first massive delivery will be in June (50-100 thousand) pieces, and then proceed every month until reaching 500 thousand by the end of the year. It's just a question of money. There are “at least” another million bullets ready for delivery on the market but the Russians are not sitting idle. Whoever pays first gets the lots. And only 5 countries – out of 20 in the coalition – have so far transferred the necessary funds.