“The U.S. warning over Ukraine comes on top of the more recent standoff between Poland and Belarus, a close Russian ally. And it is playing out amid uncertainty over increased Russian gas supplies to Europe despite Putin’s pledge to ramp up deliveries from this week to ease an energy crunch. He’s pushing for European regulators to give swift approval to operate the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, a project the U.S. and Ukraine opposed as a security risk.
Russia doesn’t intend to start a war with Ukraine now, though Moscow should show it’s ready to use force if necessary, one person close to the Kremlin said. An offensive is unlikely as Russian troops would face public resistance in Kyiv and other cities, but there is a plan to respond to provocations from Ukraine, another official said”.
Photo: The USS Mount Whitney sails into the Black Sea, near Istanbul, Turkey. Photographer: Onur Coban/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images