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Russia and the West escalate confrontation over Ukraine

The confrontation between the West and Russia regarding the Ukraine war is gradually entering a new and more drastic phase.

“We stand with Ukraine until we win. We support the NATO ally in assisting Ukraine,” US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at a press conference in Poland on May 1, shortly after wrapping up a surprise visit to Kyiv, according to Reuters.

Ms. Pelosi’s visit is significant in terms of timing as the West shifts its strategy in Ukraine while the hostilities have passed their 10th week.

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Military-economic pressure of the West

Contrary to the early stages, Western officials have recently been more open about a long war in Ukraine aimed at weakening Russia. And to implement this plan, the military leaders of 40 Western countries have agreed to speed up the delivery of weapons to Ukraine. Compared to the early stages of the conflict, the West has now begun to send heavy weapons such as tanks and artillery to Kyiv while Russia turns to the eastern front of Ukraine.

Russia and the West escalate their confrontation over Ukraine - Photo 1

Members of Ukraine’s volunteer forces against Russian forces in Zaporizhzhia


On April 28, the US House of Representatives also reinstated a World War II-era bill that would have allowed the US government to lease weapons to Ukraine. The passage of the bill reflects the urgency among US lawmakers to support Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Speaking at a rally in Dusseldorf on May 1, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged to continue providing financial and weapons support to Ukraine. Mr. Scholz, previously criticized for refusing to send heavy weapons to Ukraine, now claims that the pacifist approach to Ukraine is “outdated” and insists it is difficult for the Ukrainian people to ask them. defend the country without weapons, according to AP.

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In addition to military support, the West continues to increase pressure on Russia in the economic field through sanctions on the private sector and the Russian government. The leader of the US Senate Democratic Party, Chuck Schumer, said yesterday that it would add to the $33 billion aid package for Ukraine announced by President Donald Trump. Joe Biden proposed new bills that would allow the United States to confiscate assets of Russian oligarchs, sell them and give them money directly to Ukraine, to compensate for the damage caused by the Russian campaign.

In response, the Speaker of the Russian State Duma (lower house) Vyacheslav Volodin said that Moscow should take proportionate measures against the enterprise from “unfriendly” countries in Russia. “Confiscate these assets. The money from the sale should be used for the development of our country,” Volodin wrote on his Telegram account.

EU moves to ban Russian oil?

On the other hand, in a strategic shift, the European Union (EU) is moving towards banning Russian oil imports in this year. The EU Energy Minister has an emergency meeting on May 2 and experts believe that a draft of the embargo could be published as soon as this week, according to Reuters.

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Until now, European countries are still divided on stopping Russian oil and gas imports. Although most are in favor of reducing energy dependence from Russia, Europe is still struggling to find alternative sources, as continued imports make the embargo on Moscow lose some of its effect.

According to data from the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (Finland), the EU has paid more than 45 billion euros in oil and gas to Russia since the operation in Ukraine began. Countries that refuse to pay in rubles such as Poland and Bulgaria have had their supply cut off, while many others have received similar warnings.

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