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‘Extremely worrying!’ EU warned Putin will not stop as Russia ‘always comes back to win’

Ukraine mocks Germany for sending helmets to Ukraine forces

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Retired Lt Col Glen Grant is now a defence analyst for the Baltic Security Foundation, and he described his despair at the continued efforts for diplomacy he believes are destined for failure. He told France and Germany have been reaching out diplomatically for years to no avail, which has allowed Russian President Vladimir Putin to gain ground and an upper hand in the Ukraine crisis.

Russia has approximately 100,000 troops stationed on the border with Ukraine, although the Kremlin denies intentions to invade.

The former lieutenant colonel said: “They [Germany and France] have been working with Russia for seven years.”

He added: “There is no diplomacy with Russia, nor will there be any diplomacy with Russia.

“Russia is bullying, hectoring, and blackmailing.

“The current government of Russia does not understand diplomacy because diplomacy involves compromise and there cannot be any compromise with Putin.

“He does not understand compromise. It’s not in his vocabulary.

“He either wins or he loses. And if he loses, he comes back again to win. Next stage.

“The fact that France and Germany have been talking and talking for seven years and have not grasped that there is no chance of diplomacy is extremely worrying.”

He continued: “I mean, if grown-up countries like that cannot see that they have got nowhere in seven years and that things have got worse with what they’ve been doing – not better – then where do we go?”

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with Mr Putin on Monday after a scheduled call between the British Prime Minister and the Russian leader was postponed.

Mr Johnson, occupied with the fallout from “partygate”, could not speak with Mr Putin at the allocated time, and there has been no indication of when the two leaders will now speak.

Mr Putin told Mr Macron that the stand-off between Moscow and the West had not been de-escalated in an earlier call mere days before.

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In a readout of the phone call between the two leaders, Russia said that the West had not adequately considered “key Russian concerns”.

The Kremlin said: “US and Nato responses did not take account of such key Russian concerns as preventing Nato expansion, non-deployment of strike weapons systems near Russian borders, or returning the alliance’s military potential and infrastructure in Europe to positions existing in 1997.”

Paris said on Friday that both presidents had agreed that the tensions should be defused, adding Mr Macron had emphasised the need for Russia to respect the independence of other nations.

Mr Macron has also spoken with Ukrainian leader, Volodymyr Zelensky.

However, the new German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has been conspicuously quiet over Ukraine, with Europe’s largest economy only committing to medical aid and to sending helmets to the ex-Soviet state – a move drawing international scorn.

Germany also blocked Estonia from passing German-made weapons to Ukraine.

Part of Germany’s reticence to insert itself in the conflict has been chalked up to the legacies still lingering from World War II, with German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock insisting Berlin was determined to act in a “historically responsible” manner.

However, these efforts have been met with scorn, not least from Markus Ziener of the German Marshall Fund based in the US.

He told Al Jazeera: “This historical stance of the German government is lopsided. In the past, Germany’s actions had made Ukraine suffer and while the uneasiness to supply weapons is understandable, in the current scenario, supplying arms to fortify Ukraine would actually help the country.”

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