The US has handed Russia a written response to its proposed security guarantees. While Washington refuses to accept Moscow’s demands for a legally binding pledge that NATO will not expand further towards its borders, it has indicated it is ready to discuss certain issues, including arms control and strategic stability.
Since the end of last year, both sides have been consistently raising the stakes, and Russia has stationed a significant concentration of military forces near its border with Ukraine. The US has announced a set of sanctions and other restrictive measures that it says would be imposed on Russia in the event of a war. It is clear another round of escalation is on its way. In the near future, the situation is likely to unfold along one of the following three scenarios:
Scenario one: War
It is inevitable that amid peaceful conditions, Ukraine will pursue an anti-Russian course. An outwardly loose but sufficiently stable political regime has been formed in the country, for which compromises with Russia are impossible.
The Ukrainian government itself sees no alternative way of ensuring the country’s security other than through NATO membership. The West will also work towards integrating Ukraine into its security structures. It is, therefore, impossible to change Ukraine’s course of action without a war.
Even if NATO membership does not take place for formal reasons in the coming years or decades, nothing is preventing the deployment of striking or other systems on the territory of the country, as well as the large-scale rearmament of the armed forces of Ukraine at the expense of Western countries.