Just when global financial markets had shrugged off Ukraine as yet another 'storm in a teacup', it appears events are escalating rapidly once again. This morning saw European Parliament's Vice President Saryusz-Wolski warn "Russia's pressure on Ukraine is mounting high, further war imminent," to which Ukraine's President Poroshenko rapidly responded (via Twitter) rather ominously that a "third world war does not scare us," having noted earlier than Ukraine needs to achieve NATO membership. This then prompted NATO's top military commander to warn, he is "very concerned" that Russia's military build-up in the annexed Crimean region could be used as a launchpad for attacks across the whole Black Sea region; leaving the alliance confirming that NATO plans to deploy tanks in Eastern Europe.
The European Parliament Vice President Jacek Saryusz-Wolski tweeted (rather to the point)...
Russia's pressure on Ukraine mounting high, further war imminent.
— Jacek Saryusz-Wolski (@JSaryuszWolski) November 27, 2014
To which Ukrainian President Poroshenko replied
??????? ???????? ?????? ??? ?????? ?? ?????. ?????????, ??????????? ?? ????? ?? ??????????.
— ????? ????????? (@poroshenko) November 27, 2014
Roughly translated meaning "A 3rd World War does not scare... in fact, nobody is going to start it," adding
- *UKRAINE NEEDS TO ACHIEVE NATO MEMBERSHIP CRITERIA: POROSHENKO
- *UKRAINE TO HAVE UKRAINIAN AS SOLE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: PRESIDENT
However, it seems the sabre-rattling continues... As Al-Jazeera reports, NATO's top military commander has said he is "very concerned" that Russia's military build-up in the annexed Crimean region could be used as a launchpad for attacks across the whole Black Sea region.
US General Philip Breedlove's comments late on Wednesday came amid fears in Kiev that Russian-backed rebels will try to grab more land in eastern Ukraine to establish a land corridor to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in March.
"We are very concerned with the militarisation of Crimea," Breedlove said, following meetings with Ukraine's top political and military leaders in Kiev.
"The capabilities that are being installed in Crimea ... are able to exert influence over the entire Black Sea," he said, highlighting the influx of cruise missiles and surface-to-air rockets.
Russia's Defence Ministry said Wednesday that it had deployed a batch of 14 military jets to Crimea as part of a squadron of 30 that will be stationed on the peninsula.
Also on Wednesday, an OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in eastern Ukraine was reportedly attacked with rocket-propelled grenades and anti-aircraft ammunition.
"These shots appear to have been fired from separatist-controlled territory," the US Department of State said n a statement on Thursday.
"Any attacks on, or threats to, OSCE monitors or equipment are unacceptable. We call on all parties to refrain from any actions that endanger the safety of the OSCE mission in Ukraine."
Which explains the decision to deploy tanks...
— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) November 27, 2014
The United States is pushing Ukraine into the abyss of a civil war which has claimed thousands of lives, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov told Asian counterparts on Thursday.
“American and NATO military forces are moving closer to Russia’s threshold and the US has intensified activity in former Soviet republics," he told an inaugural meeting of the South and South-East Asian Nations Defense Chiefs’ Dialogue in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital.
* * *
It appears the situation is anything but contained...