The Russian press on Ukraine, Poland and Nordstream

Nezavisimaya Gazeta: US, Russian top brass hold talks as Kiev claims Moscow may soon launch ‘hostilities’ against Ukraine

Apr. 2, 2021
A telephone conversation between Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley and his Russian counterpart, General of the Army Valery Gerasimov was held at the initiative of the US side at the beginning of the week. The conversation focused on the aggravated situation in southeastern Ukraine. The US military claims that the Russian Defense Ministry is transferring troops to the country’s southwestern borders, building up a grouping in Crimea, which raised its concerns, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. According to Kiev, Russia is gearing up to invade Ukraine, yet Moscow announced the start of test exercises while beefing up its troops on the Crimean Peninsula to ensure its security.
According to military expert Lieutenant General Yury Netkachev, “the transfer of troops to Crimea may be associated with forming an airborne assault regiment there with a permanent base in Feodosia.” Back in 2016 it was stated that in order to strengthen Crimea’s security, an airborne regiment would be deployed on the peninsula, and now a decision has been made.
Meanwhile, the situation near Russia’s southwestern border remains tense. The Ukrainian command also transported military equipment and personnel in an eastern direction in February-March 2021 by railroad. The OSCE Mission reported numerous violations of the ceasefire in Donbass.
Kiev ignores Moscow’s position and contends that Russia might unleash genuine hostilities on Ukraine’s soil, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. NATO supports Ukraine not only with words, but also with lethal weapons. “If the conflict between Russia and Ukraine morphs into a military one, it is possible that units from the alliance countries may be brought into Ukraine. It is not known how much they will threaten Moscow,” military expert, Colonel Nikolay Shulgin told the newspaper. “Numerous military maneuvers planned by Kiev and the alliance can be a pretext for bringing NATO troops into Ukraine,” he added.

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Vedomosti: Polish fleet opposes Nord Stream 2 construction

Apr. 2, 2021
The construction fleet of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline became a target for warships and civilian ships, mostly Polish ones. Director of the Nord Stream 2 operator, Andrey Minin, said on April 1 that the planned provocations are being carried out by fishing vessels, warships, submarines and airplanes. In addition, in the second half of March, flights by foreign aircraft over the pipe-laying vessels became more frequent. According to experts interviewed by Vedomosti, the situation is pure theatrics and cannot do any real damage to the project’s progress.
Based on data released by Nord Stream 2 AG, the construction of the pipeline is now 95% complete, with only 121 km left to go. Germany is already preparing supply lines that will receive the gas exported from Russia.
According to Senior researcher at IMEMO RAN Dmitry Ofitserov-Belsky, the actions of the Polish Navy in the construction zone of Nord Stream 2 are exclusively demonstrative in nature. “The Poles need this topic to be in plain sight. They want to show that they are guarding Europe, that there are countries that oppose the Nord Stream 2,” the expert told Vedomosti. According to him, there is “nothing deep” behind this show and the Polish fleet will not be able to cause real problems during the construction of the pipeline.
The pipeline passes through the exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of five countries – Germany, Denmark, Russia, Finland, and Sweden, Managing Partner of Pen & Paper Anton Imennov said. It is necessary to establish in which zone the incident occurred, it will decide which states will become parties to the dispute, the lawyer explained. If there was a collision at sea, the owner of the damaged vessel would be entitled to insurance compensation, Imennov added.

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