Assessing the development of the situation in Ukraine and its borders, one can safely expect Russian provocations and blackmail in order to test the reaction of Western countries, especially the United States and Ukraine, said Marcis Balodis, a researcher at the Eastern European Policy Research Center.
The researcher noted that Russia is specifically trying to test the US response: “[ASV prezidents Džo] Biden’s rhetoric has been tough on Russia, and Russia is also apparently trying to test how far Biden is really willing to go. “
An attempt is also being made to test the readiness of European countries to express not only verbal but also actual support for Ukraine. “Will we not leave Ukraine alone,” Balodis added.
It is also Russia’s goal to test Ukraine’s own patience. “Russia will check whether Ukraine is able to show restraint in order not to take actions that Russia could use as an excuse or pretext to use force,” the researcher said.
In addition, the relocation of the armed forces continues. Balodis also acknowledged that the possibility of war could not be ruled out at the moment.
Asked about the right course of action from the West, the researcher said that active assistance to Ukraine is essential. For example, Latvia can assist in the performance of civil protection or support functions, which would help Ukraine to recover from hostilities both in the short and long term.
In order to express solidarity and confirm Latvia’s strong support for Ukraine, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs (“New Unity”) will pay a working visit to Ukraine.
In recent weeks, concerns about the situation in Eastern Ukraine have been significantly increased. At the end of March, Ukraine reported that Russia was concentrating its troops on the Ukrainian border and that Moscow-backed separatist militants were constantly violating last year’s ceasefire agreement.
In the spring of 2014, a conflict began in the eastern part of Ukraine. Soon after the Crimean Autonomous Region of Ukraine annexed by Russia. In February 2015 in Minsk with the participation of the leaders of Germany and France, as well as the President of Russia agreement has been reached on 13 points in the peace plan, which provided for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists. Since then, both sides in the conflict have reported violations of the ceasefire from time to time.
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