While the international community is making diplomatic efforts in hopes of ending Russia-Ukraine hostilities, analysts fear that the United States and its Western allies could simply nullify all such attempts by repeatedly providing military assistance to Ukraine.
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United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres travelled to Russia and Ukraine this week to mainly explore how the UN could aid in evacuating civilians from the besieged city of Mariupol. As part of international efforts to help solve the Ukrainian conflict, Guterres' visit came at a time when fighting between the two countries has entered the third month and their peace talks have fallen into a stalemate.
Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Guterres in the Kremlin on Tuesday, when he told the UN chief that "despite the ongoing military operation, we still hope that we will be able to reach agreements on the diplomatic track."
Guterres said that the UN is willing to assess the situation at Mariupol's Azovstal plant in order to evacuate civilians from there. After a meeting with Guterres on Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told reporters that his country was ready for urgent talks to evacuate people from Mariupol and hoped that the participation of the UN Secretary in this mission would facilitate the evacuation efforts.
Commenting on Guterres' trip, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that Moscow positively assessed the UN's desire to play a constructive and unbiased role.
WORRISOME MILITARY AID
President Joe Biden on Thursday requested Congress to appropriate US$33 billion to help Ukraine, including US$20.4 billion in military and security assistance. Just a week ago, he announced that the U.S. would provide Ukraine with an additional package of security assistance worth US$800 million.
"It is clear that the West is interested in prolonging the conflict as much as possible in order to inflict maximum damage on Russia," said Dmitry Suslov, deputy director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies (CCEIS) at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow.
According to him, the West aims to deplete Russia's military resources, hurt its economy and weaken the country politically. But Kyryl Molchanov, deputy director of the Ukrainian Institute of Politics, said that it is difficult to completely isolate Russia since it has a vast land with rich natural resources.
Meanwhile, massive military supplies from the West, including many portable smaller weapon systems, have raised concern over a dangerous proliferation of arms across Europe. In an article titled "What happens to weapons sent to Ukraine? The U.S. doesn't really know," CNN reported that the United States has few ways to track its weaponry delivered to Ukraine.