Russian President Vladimir Putin has wagered that Ukraine’s European partners cannot oppose its Donbas plan. According to reports, NATO is ready to “intervene” in Ukraine by starting “special military operations” following the UN Charter: This would represent a significant change in both the West’s standoff with Moscow and Moscow’s standoff with the West. A direct NATO engagement might be detrimental to Russia’s military preparations, especially considering that NATO planes are located closer to Ukrainian military installations than Russian aircraft. Moscow stands to profit from the latest request by French President Emmanuel Macron to intervene between Mr. Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Moscow will also depend on NATO member Turkey to block the alliance’s intentions; Turkey has stalled Finland’s and Sweden’s membership efforts to Moscow’s benefit. Joe Biden’s trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia will be a part of a more significant endeavor that extends beyond the demands of obtaining a nuclear agreement with Iran. This trip will reaffirm the strategic partnership with Israel and correct the administration’s early miscalculations over US-Saudi and US-Gulf ties. It will also send a message to Iran that the United States has lost patience with its leadership and that its regional behavior has forced itself into nuclear negotiations.