By Gen. Monzer El Ayoubi



Translation: Dr Pierre A. Sarkis



Lithuanian President, Gitanas Noseda, appears to be dragging his country into a military confrontation in a cloned performance with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, recently declaring that “his country is ready to face Russian reprisals” in response to the Kremlin’s warning of serious consequences for his government’s decision to close the strategic Suwalki Gap Corridor, the only main artery for the transit of goods via railway lines to the Russian territory of Kaliningrad, under the cover of EU sanctions.  Russia had approved Lithuania’s exit from the Federation of Soviet Republics to become a member of the European Union, after agreeing “not to obstruct the movement of transport between Kaliningrad and other Russian territories.”


It is obvious that the rational objection to this decision from Germany and some EU countries comes in order to avoid exacerbating things, thus turning the confrontation into an all-out war against the backdrop of Lithuania’s membership in NATO.  Next, Russia has raised the warning level for Lithuania and the European Union demanding a solution to the Kaliningrad crisis within days, otherwise “you will bear the consequences, we know how to respond” as stated by Andrei Klemov, Chairman of the Committee for the protection of State Sovereignty in the Upper Chamber of the Russian Parliament.  In parallel, the Russian Baltic Fleet has begun military exercises in the province of Kaliningrad with the participation of the Navy, Air Force, land and air defense units.


In a related context, and without going into the details of the current volatile field details, the respective European pace of developments of the fluctuations of the military operation in Ukraine recorded the following:

1- US qualitative military support through the new US military assistance package, including the advanced M142-Himars missile system, has not led to any change in the balance of power or halted Russian progress and de-escalation of the fronts.

2- The resignation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, with the British opposition leaking information about his communication and engagement with a leader of the Russian Intelligence Service KGB, and that’s according to British media.

3- The collapse in the value of the European currency, where the price of the Euro fell below one Dollar for the first time in 20 years, which means difficulties the European Union will face both to stop the sharp rise in food prices and heating bills, or the outbreak of popular protests and massive riots.  “We need to make sure that people simply don’t freeze next winter,” commented an EU official.

4- An additional involvement for Britain in the Ukrainian crisis against Russia after the first batch of 10,000 Ukrainian recruits reached four military bases in Britain, to receive training and familiarity with Western weapons.

5- The Russian leadership announced the temporary suspension of gas supplies to Germany through the North Stream dual pipeline for direct reasons related to the periodic maintenance of Gazprom and indirect political ones. In this regard, the Ukrainian President did not welcome the agreement between Canada and Germany and the former’s return of the Russian Nord Stream turbines.

6- The participation of the Russian Foreign Minister in the G-20 Summit did not yield any solution, nor did it open a loophole in the wall of the crisis, with the US secretly discussing with its allies an end to the conflict, as reported by the German newspaper Die Welt whose website is blocked inside Russia.

7- Demands by Politicians in the state of Georgia to provoke a dispute with Moscow, leading to the status of a “candidate for entry into the European Union.” As the Governor of the Capital, Kakha Kaladze said, “If we go to war against Russia, not only we will not get an EU membership, we will not have a country after that.”

8- As part of the messages exchanged, military units from Russia, China and Iran will head to the “backyard of Washington” Venezuela, in early August, to carry out joint ground and sea military maneuvers.

9- It seems that the visit of US President Joe Biden to the Jewish entity and some Middle eastern countries will not stray much from the Ukrainian crises, as Soviet weapons will be sought by Arab countries to support Ukrainian forces that are good at using them according to the Eastern Military Doctrine, knowing that the latter tried to change the national security system through the development of the Ukrainian Army in proportion to Western standards of NATO forces.

10- On the other hand, the Russian President is expected to visit Tehran next week to meet with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Raisi, as well as, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a trilateral Russian-Iranian-Turkish summit, with implications for the Ukrainian war while discussing the creation of the Israeli-Arab regional defense structure.

11- Simultaneously, China opened the Taiwan file and in a violent response to US intervention, declared that “no force or country in the world should be under the illusion that Taiwan could be separated from China, or if the principle of “one China” is challenged, which would cause turbulent storms in the Strait of Taiwan.  And in the economic vision, Beijing was able to obtain the approval of 57 countries to join the Bank of China, which is expected to compete with the World Bank, leading to the destruction of the current global financial system.

12- Moscow believes that Washington is putting the world on the brink of a nuclear war, with Russian Deputy Security Council Chairman Alexander Vitektov saying that “punishing a country with the greatest nuclear power is a ridiculous idea that could threaten the fate of humanity.” Regarding Poland’s support and direct intervention in Ukraine, he commented: The US is sponsoring a new Hyena in Europe.


Finally, it is the fog below the European doorstep, as Russian President Vladimir Putin is still playing the game of prey; the military operation in Ukraine will not stop before reaching its goals by removing Ukraine’s military fangs, and the recognition of the new republics (Novo Russia).  One commentator summed up the situation “it seems like Putin is going to make them lose their minds.”


Beirut, 13/07/2022

*Scholar in Security and Strategic Affairs