It is Friday of the week where the US promised to reply to Russia’s Security demands, and the only answer forthcoming came overnight yesterday in a weak attempt to shift the onus back onto Russia in a kind of Ping-Pong game. It won’t wash. It never would.
Let me summarise it like this…
Russia served the first ball straight down the line for an Ace with its list of documented demands which required only a signature by the US to ratify. The ball was squarely in the US court. First point to Russia.
Panic ensued, and various sideline attempts were made to have the game stopped and bogged down in discussions. That didn’t work. It never would.
Then, last week, a first return was made, which never made it over the net. A promise was made to do better next week. No points scored. I think that was called a ‘Let’
This week, as tension mounted, and a valid reply was critical, the US served the ball directly into the gully (yes, I know this is a different sport) and declared that the ball was now in Russia’s court. No ‘Let’ this time. Another point to Russia.
But here the game ends, with a potential Russian victory because, unlike in Ping-Pong, Russia was able to call a ‘no ball’ and declare the ball to still be in the western court.
The west is lucky to be given a third serve. I don’t think somehow they will be responding. They can’t respond. They never could.
And the Ping-Pong strategy was never going to solve the battle anyway. So we must look in other directions for an answer.
In some sense the ball is in Russia’s court because, having issued ‘demands’, whether a reply came or not, whether such reply was valid or unsatisfactory, the next ball was always going to be in Russia’s court to accept and play the return or make a winning move of its own choosing.
‘High Noon’ is now over. The time for talking is done. It is time to make the draw – to ‘clear leather’ in old western parlance. That could mean a shooting match – which the west is clearly outmatched to take part in (they are viewing the whole thing through cracked, mal-focused and finger smudged eyewear, facing the Sun) – or the Russians have something up their sleeve and are about to unveil it to the world, which would undoubtedly hand them the victory without firing a shot. The gunfight is still on the cards however, due to potential maverick intervention, and always will be until the situation either coalesces or explodes.
That assessment is not borne out in the TASS article below, at least superficially, but I think that does not represent the true picture of the situation on the ground. It seems to indicate that Ping-Pong is still on. I doubt that is the case.
Russia must now ‘put up’ in whatever way it chooses, or ‘shut up’. I think the Russians have sufficient available choices, all of them winning moves (and not solely military ones), to make the future they and others sorely need.