Saturday, November 27, 2021

U.S. Looks to NATO to Deter Russian Aggression as Ukraine Warns of Possible Coup (VIDEO)

Biden won't do anything. And NATO? Pfft. They stood there when Putin annexed the Crimea in 2014, the first territorial revision in Europe since WWII.

At WSJ, "Biden administration considers options from deterrence to diplomacy and wants a NATO meeting next week to discuss common actions":

The Biden administration plans to use a meeting of NATO foreign ministers to focus on how the alliance should respond to Russian military pressure on Ukraine as the Ukrainian president warned Friday of a possible Moscow-backed coup attempt.

The meeting, which is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, comes amid debate within the alliance’s ranks about how to be firm about the possibility of Russian aggression, as it masses troops near Ukraine, while keeping political channels open to Moscow.

Karen Donfried, the top State Department official for European affairs, said Friday that the U.S. is deeply concerned about “large and unusual” Russian troop movements near Ukraine, which American officials have warned allies could be a prelude to invasion.

She said the U.S. is looking at a range of options and wants to use the NATO meeting to discuss how the alliance can act together.

Although she declined to specify which options are under consideration, they range from more military support for Ukraine to stepped-up diplomacy to de-escalate the conflict, according to U.S. officials.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, meanwhile, accused Russia of backing a plan to overthrow him.

Mr. Zelensky told reporters Friday that he had received information through Ukrainian security services that a coup would be undertaken on Dec. 1-2, according to Ukraine’s national news agency, Ukrinform. He said the Ukrainian government had intelligence as well as audio intercepts in which Russian and Ukrainian conspirators were heard discussing the possible participation of billionaire Ukrainian businessman Rinat Akhmetov in the alleged plot.

Mr. Akhmetov’s spokespeople didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov rejected the allegation.

President Biden said Friday he is concerned about the situation in Ukraine and that “we object to anything remotely approaching” the alleged coup plot. He told reporters in Nantucket, Mass., that he would likely talk with Mr. Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Biden administration has yet to spell out what the consequences of Russian aggression would be.

The gathering of NATO foreign ministers, however, offers an opportunity for the West’s premier military alliance to take a unified stance against Russia’s saber rattling. But the alliance operates on the basis of consensus and perceptions of imminence of Russian action within the organization vary...