On January 22, on the Day of Unification or Reunification of Ukraine, two events took place that were both gratifying for Ukrainians and very unpleasant for Muscovites. So unpleasant that the rushists took out their anger by firing rockets at Kyiv and Kharkiv on the morning of January 23.
The first event is the official announcement by NATO of the start of the Resolute Defender teachings on January 22, and the second is Lavrov's summons to New York. Both actions are interconnected and show that even the Biden administration has lost its patience.
Initially, these NATO exercises, the largest in 40 years, were planned for early February. But something forced the White House to accelerate them, although they will de facto begin closer to the original date and will last until the end of May. Initially, they were scheduled to end in June. The White House wants to speed up some process or prevent some actions by the Kremlin and, to inform them of this, summoned Lavrov formally to a meeting of the UN Security Council. Nebenzia, who lives in New York City, was not suitable for this, since if he flies to Moscow with dispatches, he may not be allowed into the United States or arrested in Europe when he changes planes. So the White House remembered that Russia had a foreign minister more suited to the role of a mail bird, and gave him an entry visa. The urgent Lavrov's flight to the UN Security Council meeting was announced on January 21.
In honor of Lavrov's flight to New York, racists shelled a market in Donetsk on January 21 and staged a mourning show. Lavrov had to broadcast in New York again how Donbas had been bombed for 10 years, and he didn't have the right picture. He had to urgently create one, and Lavrov referred to it at the UN and in an interview with CBS. Lavrov could not be unfounded.
The White House had many reasons for urgently arranging an informal rebuke of the Kremlin. At the same time, it was necessary to make it clear to the Kremlin that Lavrov was not being summoned for negotiations but to express dissatisfaction. Usually, ambassadors are summoned and handed a note of protest, and if the situation is complicated, a round of talks is held at the level of foreign ministers or heads of state. The situation is such that a note of protest is not enough, and Biden is obliged to arrest Putin, not meet with him. That's why Lavrov was summoned. But so that the Kremlin would not think that this was the beginning of negotiations, they summoned him to New York to the UN building, not to the White House in Washington.
To be on the safe side, Lavrov was forced to admit it on TV. For this purpose, an interview with the CBS television channel was arranged for him on January 22. At the very beginning of the interview, he assured that the Kremlin was not negotiating on Ukraine with either the Biden or Trump administrations, but wanted them. Even more, he wants negotiations with Ukraine and for Zelenskyy to return to the Istanbul agreement, which was disrupted by Boris Johnson. Lavrov also assured that no one in Moscow is betting on Trump's return, and the entire Kremlin pack is confident that if Donald returns, the situation will not change for them.
Reason No. 1 for Lavrov's urgent summons to New York is the official registration of Putin as a candidate for president, announced on January 22. The White House considered this a violation of the agreements on the transit of power as a condition for starting negotiations with the United States and offered to name a specific date for the funeral of the resident of the Valdai refrigerator. Biden is not satisfied with the fall, and he demands that Putin be buried before the summer and before the US election. That's why Lavrov swore that no one in Russia is waiting for Trump's return.
To further reassure the White House, the Echo of the Kremlin radio station, represented by Professor Solovey, hastened to announce on January 22 that transit to Russia would begin in February with the appointment of a new prime minister. Solovey called him a technical prime minister, a protege of a St. Petersburg business group and promised to announce his name on January 25. But like a true scientist, Professor Solovey said that maybe they will appoint him, maybe they won't, he doesn't know. The professor's mood is shitty again, as everything is again not going according to his forecasts, but under pressure from Biden, who needs a new head of the Russian government and one who is not tainted by direct participation in a special war with Ukraine. He needs him to start some kind of negotiations with him on a new "reset" in Russia and thus solve his selection problems.
In essence, Biden is demanding that the Kremlin create an alternative to Putin and the war in the field of power. Figuratively speaking, he is demanding that a new Yeltsin be created as an alternative to Gorbachev, and even more so as an alternative to the orthodox communists of Ligachev. And not the disgraced Yeltsin, expelled from the CPSU Central Committee, but a prime minister with powers of authority. The Kremlin's Echo has promised to do so, and on January 23, Peskov assured that Putin would not meet with Kim Jong Un until March. This statement by Peskov was not an accident, but a direct result of a conversation between a CBS journalist and Lavrov.
She very insistently demanded that Lavrov give a clear answer to the question of why Russia, in violation of UN resolutions, buys weapons from the DPRK and uses them to kill Ukrainians. Lavrov snapped and tried to evade the question in every possible way. Unsuccessfully for himself, he jumped to sanctions on Iran, for which he received a question about Iranian weapons, after which he became hysterical and shouted: "Prove it!". But after Kim Jong Un's visit in September, the DPRK Foreign Minister's visit in January, and other meetings, everything is so transparent that only Lavrov could deny it and try to make fools of the Americans. The Kremlin realized that Lavrov was overreacting and the next day sent Peskov to assure the Americans that Putin would not meet with Kim before the election.
Other reasons that forced the White House to accelerate NATO's maneuvers and to scold Lavrov included threats to Latvia and Estonia from Muscovy, the Kremlin's attempts to launch a major pre-election offensive in Ukraine, and its intrigues in the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere. Therefore, the Kremlin had to be urgently reined in, and on January 23, Jens Stoltenberg signed contracts on behalf of NATO for $1.2 billion to purchase artillery shells for the Ukrainian army. This was a response to Lavrov, who said in an interview that since sponsors had stopped supplying the Ukrainian army with shells, the success of the Russian army was guaranteed and it was better to return to the Istanbul agreements.
How effective Biden's strategy will be will become clear by May. But so far, there is a strong suspicion that he is stepping on Obama's rake and repeating his mistakes. If this suspicion is confirmed, then by May there will be a cross-party consensus in the United States on the issue of changing the strategy and the owner of the Oval Office.