As Russia Increases Tensions In Ukraine, China And US Reach Deal Soothe Relations

Certain to add tension to relations between the US and Russia, NATO officials report that Russian troops have entered into Ukraine in recent days and Russia’s defense minister has announced the resumption of Cold War-era bomber patrols off U.S. shores, reports The Los Angeles Times.

“We have seen columns of Russian equipment, primarily Russian tanks, Russian artillery, Russian air-defense systems and Russian combat troops entering Ukraine,” U.S. General Philip Breedlove said.

Despite the aggression and the breakdown of a September 5 agreement between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists is falling apart, European leaders are unlikely to slap Moscow with more sanctions.

“The renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine also comes days after China and Russia agreed to a second, historic gas deal that would lessen Russia’s dependence on the European market for its natural gas exports. By boosting exports to China, Moscow may eventually remove the carrot at the end of Europe’s stick,” writes David Francis in Foreign Policy.

While there was no discussion of sanctions, the United States has told the United Nations Security Council of the need for greater international pressure on Russia to abide by a ceasefire in Ukraine, as Russia denied it was a threat to its neighbor, reports Reuters.

US, China Make Steps Toward Preventing Military Confrontation President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed two agreements setting guidelines for encounters at sea and for notifying the other side of military exercises to avoid dangerous misunderstandings.

“The agreements are part of a broader effort to encourage the Chinese military to adopt international norms and to persuade other Asian nations to strike similar agreements, defense analysts said. The notification mechanism covers policy and strategy developments, and observation of military exercises and activities, while the rules of behavior include details on encounters between naval surface vessels, according to a White House statement,” report the Wall Street Journal‘s Jeremy Page and Carol E. Lee.

China and the US also reached a deal on greenhouse gases, which Secretary of State John Kerry described as a “historic agreement” in a New York Times op-ed.

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