The Kremlin seeks to drive a wedge between the United States and Western Europe, trying to make a deal with Washington bypassing Ukraine and its European allies, as the former commander of the US Armed Forces in Europe Ben Hodges told the “Apostrophe”.
At the same time, he noted that it is possible to come to an agreement regarding Ukraine.
“This agreement, however, cannot only be between Russia and the US without involving Ukraine. Russia seeks to drive a wedge between the US and Europe. The Kremlin wants to make a deal with Washington bypassing Western Europe, splitting it as a result. I believe, though, that the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will contact German, British and Polish allies to convince them to negotiate with Kremlin from the position of power and make the Kremlin respect Ukraine’s sovereignty. Otherwise, Russia will continue doing what it always does: it will use deceit and disinformation to continue attacking Ukraine or another country in the Black Sea region. Look at Venezuela. It is a part of Russia’s usual strategy – creating equivalent problems in different places. Russia uses Venezuela to distract the West, the US in particular, from its illegal actions in Ukraine,” Hodges expanded.
According to the general, negotiations with Russia cannot take place until Kremlin releases all the captured Ukrainian sailors, thus executing the UN International Tribunal's order.
“Every country should every day repeat that Russia is the violator of international law. Russia uses power to do everything it desires. The Russian army has attacked Ukrainian ships in Ukrainian waters, as no one in the world recognizes the annexation of Crimea. I cannot imagine how anyone could have a good impression of Russia when it acts this way. Negotiating with the USSR, President Ronald Reagan once said, “When dealing with Russia, you trust but double check”. This is the key rule,” the general summarized.