Russia: Putin at a press conference this Thursday to talk about Ukraine, Covid-19 and repression

It’s a press conference that could ignite the powder or on the contrary calm things down on the Ukrainian issue. Vladimir Poutine will be questioned at length this Thursday by the Russian and international media on the politico-military crisis which shivers the European security balance resulting from the Cold War.

During this annual intervention, the president will also be awaited on the repression of the Russian opposition for a year, in particular on the file Alexeï Navalny . The health crisis and economic difficulties will also be addressed.

A possible armed conflict

As the 30 th anniversary of the dissolution of the USSR, the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century” according to the head of the Kremlin, Vladimir Poutine has considerably toughened the tone in recent years weeks with regard to its Western rivals and its Ukrainian neighbor , to the point of raising fears of an armed conflict. Observers and diplomats hope for details as to the “military and technical measures” he has sworn to adopt, if his demands are not accepted by the White House and the Nato .

Its demands, heavy with consequences for the European security architecture, have been deemed “unacceptable” by many Western voices. Vladimir Poutine wants, without offering any counterparts, the end of the military support of NATO and Washington to Ukraine, to ban any enlargement of the Atlantic Alliance and the end of all Western military activity near Russia. Washington and Moscow are counting on talks in January.

Moscow refutes any warmongering

The Russian president, who 22 years in power has gone from a rather cordial relationship to a conflictual relationship with the West, is suspected of preparing an invasion of Ukraine, an ex- Soviet republic now pro-Western. According to Washington, tens of thousands of over-equipped soldiers are deployed near the Russian-Ukrainian border as well as in Crimea, a peninsula annexed in 2014.

Added to the equation are the pro-Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, with whom Kiev has been at war for almost eight years. The Kremlin for its part rejects any warmongering, accusing the Americans and their allies on the contrary of threatening Moscow with its politico-military support in Kiev and its forces in the Black Sea.