"Ukraine Asks NATO for Western Weapons as Donbass Military Crisis Deepens"
By Alexander Mercouris
The Duran News Topic 459 (April 8, 2022)
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[27:12] Alexander Mercouris: "So, it does seem as if there is only this small time window. And I have to say, given that this is so, the danger of escalation increases because people like Haerbeck and Beerbock, and in Britain Johnson, are now caught in a position where they must escalate to the point of achieving victory or, if they don't then they face what could very well turn out to be, from their point of view a grim political and economic reckoning. So this is going to be a particularly dangerious few months that we're going to see over the next few months coming forward. It will be over the course of the summer, in my opinion, that this crisis is going to be decided."
[28:09] "Meanwhile, we have seen another form of escalation take place. I've repeatedly said that the way to end this crisis is through diplomacy. through Ukraine essentially agreeing to Russian conditions. Last week in Istanbul the Ukrainians made major moves in that direction. Far from this being welcomed in Western capitals, it provoked dismay there. So we have pressure from Britain and the United States to Ukraine to reverse the concessions it made in Istanbul and to take a harder line in the negotiations. And that is precisely what, according to Russian foreign minister Lavrov, the Ukrainians have now done. And though the Ukrainians now accept, still accept, that Ukraine won't join NATO, in other respects they've backtracked on some of the concessions they made about Donbass, about Crimea, and about the nature of a Russian veto of troop deployments in Ukraine."
"Lavrov has made it absolutely clear that for the Russians that is unacceptable. And he has also made it clear that from a Russian point of view, if the Ukrainians don't once again return to the original positions that they were taking and go beyond them, then this military campaign will continue until it achieves its full objectives. I've no doubt that Lavrov is not bluffing. I've no doubt either that the Russians have all the means necessary to counter whatever weapon systems the West sends to Ukraine. The time window, as I said, to achieve a diplomatic settlement is probably to be counted in over the summer. If our leaders in the West do not start to reflect on realities, don't let -- don't put their emotions of anger and all the rest to one side, then I suspect we're going to be facing a very tough autumn and winter in the next few months. That's my overall assessment of where we are."