Ukraine Western nations on Saturday urged “firmness and vigilance” against Russia, hours after the president of the United States, Joe Bidenkept up the pressure on his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putinannouncing a small deployment of troops in Eastern Europe.
Russia has been concentrating tens of thousands of troops ahead of Ukraine since the end of 2021, raising fears of an invasion. Moscow denies any intention of invasion, but demands guarantees for its security, including a commitment that Ukraine, a former Soviet republic, will never be admitted as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (OTAN).
United States and the OTAN They refuse to accept these demands, but both the Westerners and Russia have so far left open the negotiating path.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stressed in a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian “the importance of staying vigilant and firm in contact with Russia,” according to a statement from his ministry.
However, he advocated a “political and diplomatic solution” to the crisis.
Hours before, Biden announced that it would “mobilize troops to Eastern Europe and NATO countries in the short term, not many.” The United States has already put 8,500 troops on standby to OTAN.
Secretary of Defense of USLloyd Austin, estimated on Friday that with more than 100,000 soldiers concentrated on the border with UkraineRussia has enough powers for an invasion, but stressed that a conflict between Kiev and Moscow “is not inevitable.”
“There is still time and space for diplomacy,” he said.
British Prime Minister, Boris Johnsonwho to talk to Putin in the coming days, he said he was “determined to speed up diplomatic efforts and step up deterrence to prevent bloodshed in Europe,” according to a Downing Street spokesman.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is expected to arrive in Kiev on Tuesday. “Poland supports Ukraine to prevent Russian aggression,” said Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller.
Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky stressed that “the likelihood of an attack exists”, but that “there is no escalation higher than what already existed” last year.
During a conversation with the French president Emmanuel Macron Zelensky on Friday called for “multiplication of meetings and negotiations (…) as long as there is a favorable climate for dialogue.”
Russia denies any involvement. Yet it is seen as threatened by NATO’s eastern expansion over the past 20 years and Western support for Ukraine.
For this reason, Moscow conditioned the de-escalation of the Trans-Atlantic Alliance interrupting its expansionist policies and militarily retreating to the 1997 positions.
United States and the OTAN on Wednesday rejected the most important Russian claims.
In a telephone conversation, Macron Y Putin They stressed on Friday the “need for a de-escalation” and called for the “dialogue” to be continued.
“President Putin has not made any offensive intentions,” the French presidency said.
Both Europe and the United States have threatened to impose severe sanctions on Russia in Ukraine.
On the table would be the strategic gas pipeline Nord Stream 2what CONECT Russia with Germany, or the conclusion of Russian access to dollar transactions.
On Friday, Washington and the European Union they confirmed in a joint statement that they were working on providing “additional volumes of natural gas” for Europe, in order to deal with any possible consequence of a “new Russian invasion of Ukraine”.
The United States has demanded that the Security Council HIM-HER-IT holds a meeting on Monday on the “clear threat” that Moscow will pose to “international peace and security”.
Moscow He warned that if his requests were not heeded, he would respond forcefully, but he did not specify how.
Russian diplomacy announced on Friday night that it had banned access to the country from security forces and lawmakers and executive bodies of some EU countries “personally responsible for spreading anti-Russian policies”.
Leading Russian lawmakers have suggested Russia recognizes and arms pro-Russian separatists operating in the east Ukraine. Moscow is seen as the instigator of this conflict that began in 2014, following the Russian annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.