Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Rising costs of Ukraine gamble could force Russia’s hand

By in Moscow

Russia’s aggressive buildup near Ukraine energised Nato into sending more forces to eastern Europe on Monday and led to a plunge on Russian markets, raising the stakes on the Kremlin’s bet that it could cajole, extort or force Ukraine into submission.

For Moscow it has become more difficult to pull back from its aggressive stance after US and Nato announcements that more troops would be deployed to the military alliance’s eastern flank. A unilateral drawdown now would leave the Kremlin a clear loser in the standoff, having provoked a strengthening of the very Nato presence that it had sought to banish from eastern Europe.

Moscow has blamed the west for rising tensions and the chaos on Russian financial markets. “We are observing statements published by the North Atlantic Alliance about an enlargement of the contingent and the deployment of forces and hardware to the eastern flank. All that leads to the further escalation of tensions,” claimed Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson, on Monday. “Please note that all of that is not happening because of what we, Russia, do. This is happening because of the actions of Nato and the United States and the information they release.”

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