Biden agreed “in principle” to a meeting with Putin that could be a final diplomatic effort over tensions surrounding Ukraine and a possible way to avert an impending invasion led by Moscow. This principle is that Russia does not attempt any operation against Ukraine. It seems that the guiding power of words is being used in a strategic sense. As for the occupation, there has been no development in any of the dates for which intelligence was given. As there was no action on February 16, the Winter Olympics ended as of yesterday. These dates were referenced in Russia’s possible invasion calendar. Either the West’s information network is weak, or a crisis is triggered through a non-existent possibility.
Apart from this, of course, there are power and threat elements that Russia will keep hidden. Russia has invested heavily in military spending, gaining reserves from rising oil prices. This is of course due to the necessity of the army to be a deterrent force. Eastern Europe, the Black Sea, the Baltic, the Caucasus and Central Asia are still very important in terms of security and influence network. Most recently, we have seen the extensions of this influence network in Belarus and Kazakhstan. There are Europe and the US against Russia, but there are also normally conflicting interests with its period ally China. Therefore, a buffer zone under its influence should always be in between with major competitors. The issue of Ukraine’s membership in NATO is therefore a red line and the situation of Russian ethnicity in eastern Ukraine is a trump card that can be used for the legitimacy of the event. However, there is this; Russia’s strategy is not to be the first to shoot.
Brent-WTI, gold and silver comparison… Source: Bloomberg
It is very difficult for Ukraine to provide air defense coordination in a possible Russian attack, so Zelenskiy will continue to seek help from the West. The fact that Russia remains a threat rather than an invasion fits better with Putin’s strategy. For this reason, Russia can continue its exercises and military build-ups. Moreover, the Black Sea is closed to the United States because of Montreux, and Russia has the power to control the northern part of the Black Sea through the Kerch Strait, since it has de-facto possession of Crimea. Control of the Black Sea is very important for Russia not to remain a landlocked state. In a possible operation, Russia’s position will be strong enough in terms of air, land, sea and nuclear power. Russia did not end its military exercises with Belarus on February 20, as it had previously planned, and announced that Russian forces would remain in Belarus indefinitely.
Markets started the week a little more optimistically with the expectation of Biden-Putin meeting. The unresolved Russian crisis limits the movements.
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