Observer: US counterproductive actions are making trouble for political settlement of Ukraine crisis
By Zhong Sheng
People's Daily app

NATO recently convened a summit as the Ukraine crisis entered its second month. Promoting peace and talks for an early ceasefire should have been a priority for the US-led alliance. However, the messages sent by the summit were disappointing.

As the initiator of the crisis, the US did not introspect about its responsibilities or try to prevent the war from further escalating. On the contrary, it was passing the buck and claiming that it would provide massive amounts of weapons for Ukraine and impose further sanctions against Russia.

This is merely pouring oil on the flames. It will erect greater obstacles to resolving the crisis through political means and bring bigger consequences for world and regional peace and prosperity. What the US has done bears little resemblance to the responsibilities that a major country should shoulder. It was purely motivated by the habitual practice of a hegemonic country to reach its hegemonic goals through making crises.

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once said that to be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal, which has been proven right repeatedly by the crises the country has started and escalated around the world.

The following thread clearly illustrates the development of the Ukraine crisis - the US made a cheap promise of NATO membership to Ukraine to trap the latter into confrontation with Russia, and then funded Ukraine with hundreds of millions of dollars of military aid while claiming to be preserving peace. This action only exemplified the hypocrisy of the US.

The direction in which the Ukraine crisis developed was highly dependent on what the US did. Former US congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said that the war between Russia and Ukraine could have been avoided had the US promised to not allow Ukraine to join NATO.

However, this is not what the US did. The US-led military alliance expanded eastward five times, moving its strategic border to Russia’s frontier. This indicated that the US has no intention of deescalating the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but rather wishes to exacerbate it. The US is using Ukraine as a pawn on its geopolitical chess board, so as to contain Russia, suffocate Europe's strategic independence, and shore up its collapsing hegemony in Europe.

European allies of the US are paying a tangible price for the war, such as inflows of refugees and an energy shortage. However, the US , which boasts rich gas and petroleum resources and sits on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, is profiting handsomely from the upheaval. After the World War II, the US has always purported to be a guardian of world peace, but as a matter of fact, it's more of a guardian of its private interests as a country that worships "America first."

Putting the blame on other countries to safeguard its own hegemony is a usual practice of the US. From the onset of the Ukraine crisis, the US accused China of not preventing the war knowing it was inevitable, spread the nonsense that Russia requested military assistance from China, and hypocritically called on all countries including China to safeguard international order.

On the Ukraine issue, China speaks for justice and works for peace with a long-term vision. It is always playing a constructive role. It supports all efforts that are conducive to easing the situation and seeking political settlement and opposes any act that is counterproductive to reaching a diplomatic resolution or even leads to escalation.

By smearing and defaming China, the US aims to pass the buck and contain China. The US actions reflect that the country, driven by a Cold War mentality, is acting like a hegemon, a bully and the boss of the world. The US should understand that to resolve the Ukraine crisis, talks and negotiations are necessary. Defining "rule-based international order" with unilateral standards and forcing other countries to pick a side will never work.

The US never cares about the general interests of the world as it pursues its own hegemony. At present, countries around the world are already having a hard time coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring economic development and livelihood. However, the US is ignoring global stability and the livelihood and lives of billions of people around the world, arbitrarily imposing all-round and undifferentiated sanctions against Russia. It even claimed that if other countries do not cooperate with it on the sanctions, it may implement retaliatory measures.

Such an abuse of sanctions is a common practice of the US. In the past 20 years, the number of US sanctions has increased tenfold. However, the world is not getting any better because of these sanctions.

A recent Newsweek article pointed out that sanctions on Russia would fail without diplomacy. The White House knows this point, too, but it is still imposing sanctions, not to ease the situation, but to economically contain Russia over the long run.

Both history and reality have proved that sanctions will not result in peace and security, but only lose-lose or no-win situations. They will only aggravate the sluggish world economy and further exacerbate separation and confrontation.

Creating space for a peaceful and political settlement should be an obligation of all responsible countries, especially major ones. If the US really wants to alleviate tensions in Ukraine, it should refrain from pouring oil on the flames, stop wielding the big stick of sanctions, stop slandering other countries, and stand with justice and peace.