"EU peacekeepers in Ukraine. Spy games. Lukashenko, Belarus invasion being prepared"
The Duran (March 31, 2022)
By Alex Christoforou and Alexander Mercouris
3:26 Alexander Mercouris: “If the offensive fails, then I think Kaluba is going to get what he wants. I think that the West now is so far up the Escalation escalator that they don’t have any real plan about how to get off. At least, not the leaders we see at the moment. So, if the offensive fails, we could see further escalations. And perhaps that’s what all this talk about the peace-keeping force is all about.”
. . .
14:53 “The Chinese will see the de-risking strategy as a bluff. Because if she’s talking about de-risking and saying we mustn’t de-couple this basically tells the Chinese that the Europeans are terrified of de-coupling with China. And bear in mind that if you try and bluff the Chinese they will always call your bluff. It’s axiomatic. It’s one of the first rules of diplomacy. That’s the first thing to say. It’s a sign of weakness.”
15:22 “And the second thing is, regarding a warning to China, the Chinese and the Russians have already made it clear – they’ve made this in public statements now; they’ve written it in their statements, the ones they’ve agreed with the Russians – which is that they will not brook interference, meddling, lectures, lessons, warnings from third parties about the relationship between China and Russia. So if Ursula or Jean-Michel or whoever it is from the EU who is eventually going to Beijing comes along to Beijing and starts saying things like that to the Chinese, the Chinese will say: ‘This has nothing to do with you. We have our relationship with the Russians. We value that relationship. We are not interested in what you say. Stay out. Keep your business out of this affair. . . . If you value your relationship with us, you will not interfere in it.”
[a discussion follows about the Russian government’s decision to withdraw its ambassadors from Latvia and Estonia. Possibly in reaction to threats to expel ethnic Russians from those countries.]
20:03 “The whole thing in Ukraine is looking very ugly and dangerous at the moment. We’re all waiting for this offensive that Ukraine is going to launch. We’re all waiting to see what it will achieve, if it achieves anything. And the situation is getting very ominous indeed. And, of course, more people are dying all the time. And there is no sign that anybody in the West is prepared to talk Peace.”
20:34 “But I have to say that what we need to understand about all these moves is that the shadow of China is now hanging very heavy over this whole business. So that is one thing that has also, I think, raised the temperature, is that the Putin-Xi summit meeting has scared a lot of people. ”
Alex Christoforou: “Well, it woke them up. Because they were still under the belief that they could win China over, much the same way that they were under the belief that they could win India over or that they could isolate Russia. They still have that belief that Russia is indeed isolated. And they’re waking up to the fact that de-dollarization is going on. Russia is not isolated. India is very friendly with Russia. China is in a near alliance with Russia, even on a military level. Saudi Arabia is moving towards BRICS. All of these things hit the collective West in a matter of one or two weeks. They’re waking up to this and they’re freaking out.”
22:08 Alexander Mercouris: “People who are becoming so nervous and frightened are capable of behaving in the most erratic and irresponsible ways. And the single most worrying thing to me is this ‘peace-keeping’ idea. . . . This talk of a peace-keeping force is not really about peace-keeping force. It is an attempt to create some kind of expeditionary force into Ukraine. It is far more likely that they are becoming nervous that the coming Ukraine offensive is going to fail. That is my own view. But I don’t want to say that the other possibility hasn’t also occurred to me. . . .
. . .
25:00 “It’s nonsense. And it is a military commander who is talking such nonsense. In effect, what he is saying is ‘I don’t have enough weapons to carry out this Spring Offensive.’ I am not able to unpack the illogic of this. You could sort of take a Machiavellian view that this is a disinformation exercise intended to lull the Russians into some kind of complacency: Ukraine admitting that it doesn’t have enough weapons. I think it is much more likely that Sisky, like Kuleba is preparing for the failure of this Spring Offensive, and they’re going to turn around to the West after it fails -- or at least fails to achieve the objectives they’ve set -- and say that the reason it didn’t succeed was because we didn’t have enough weapons. So it wasn’t our fault. It was your fault. And, therefore, send us even more.”