Pence asked Merkel to send her ships to Kerch Strait

File Photo

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Bloomberg threw a bomb Thursday. Citing high-ranking sources familiar with US-German talks at the Munich Security Conference last month, the news agency revealed that US Vice President Mike Pence tried to persuade the German Chancellor to provoke Russia directly by sending German ships into the Kerch Strait.

Merkel would not have consented to such acts, rejecting them as “a naval maneuver in the hinterland of Russia intended to provoke Russian President Vladimir Putin”. According to sources, Merkel would have resisted pressure from Pence, citing the reservations expressed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko who would consider this act as “insufficient” to ensure that Russia finally opens the strait.

Pence’s plan was to “show Putin that the Western powers will not give up their access to these waters.”

It is interesting to note that Merkel’s position apparently does not rest on a principled will to promote peace or to prevent unnecessary provocations that could potentially trigger a regional war between Ukraine and Russia and Western allies. It seems essentially based on the “inadequacy” of the measure proposed by Pence against Moscow.

Following the controversial 2014 referendum on the status of Crimea, which led to the peninsula becoming Russia’s suzerainty, Russia was accused of restricting access by the Ukrainian navy to its ports on the sea. Azov, north of the Kerch Strait.

The subject reached its climax last November when the Russian navy stopped three Ukrainian ships and 24 sailors on board as they tried to cross the strait.

In addition, as noted by Bloomberg, Russia has completed the construction of a road bridge across the Kerch Strait in order to consolidate Crimea’s links with the mainland and is in the process of adding a railway line. At the same time, Kiev tried to rally its international allies to a pressure campaign that would force Russia to open the strait to Ukrainian ships and other allied ships.

This reluctance of Germany and the EU to engage in conflict with Moscow for the control of this strait reveals that Ukraine’s influence on European countries is very limited. A treaty concluded in 2003 between Russia and Ukraine states that the Sea of ​​Azov is an “internal” water body for which any foreign military ship must have the consent of Moscow and Kiev to pass.

Ukraine has recently declared that Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian ships and crews violated the terms of the treaty, to which Moscow replied that Ukrainian ships had attempted to attack Russian ships.

Over the last two months, British and American military ships have entered the Black Sea south of the Kerch Strait, but no other has ventured into the area since the November incident which was likely to drag Russia and Ukraine in a direct conflict involving the western allies of Kiev.

“Frankly, they do not like us in the Black Sea,” said General Curtis Scaparrotti, NATO’s Supreme Commander for Europe, before the Armed Forces Committee of the US Senate.

Scaparrotti has also called for more deterrent firepower, citing the “Russian threat” as something for which the United States remains under-prepared. “I’m still not comfortable with the deterrence policy we have in Europe,” he said.

“Although the United States maintains a global military superiority over Russia, Russia’s developing capabilities threaten to undermine our competitive military advantage,” he said.

Thus, as the supreme commander of the allied forces in Europe admits, neither American troops nor America’s European allies, such as Germany and France, are ready to engage in a major confrontation with Moscow. in his own backyard while it seems like the US Vice President is willing to do so.

This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.

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