Kiev – Kremlin said on Friday that President Vladimir Putin called for a binding guarantee to prevent NATO’s expansion into Ukraine in a planned call with US President Joe Biden. Ukrainian defense minister warned that Russia could invade his country next month.
Tensions between Russia and the West have intensified in recent weeks, and Ukraine, the United States and other Western allies have said that the buildup of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border could indicate an intention to invade Moscow. I am more and more concerned. The United States threatened to take the strictest sanctions to date if the Kremlin launched an attack, but Russia warned that the presence of NATO troops and weapons in Ukraine’s soil would cross the “red line.”
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov warned on Friday that a “massive escalation” would be possible, with an estimated 94,300 Russian troops in the suburbs of Ukraine and in Crimea attached to Russia.
Putin’s diplomatic adviser Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Friday that Putin’s call for Putin Biden would take place in the coming days, adding that the date will be announced after Moscow and Washington have finalized the details. rice field.
On Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Russia’s Sergey Lavrov in Stockholm and demanded that Russia withdraw its troops from the Ukrainian border. Lavrov argued that the West was “playing with fire” by denying Russia’s remarks on expanding NATO to the former Soviet Union.
Ukraine is promoting participation in the alliance, which has fulfilled its commitment to join, but has no schedule.
Ushakov said during a meeting with Biden Putin that he would increase his demand for a document that would prevent NATO from moving further east. Russia wants a legally binding agreement to “eliminate the further expansion of NATO to the east and the deployment of weapons systems that threaten us on the territory of neighboring countries, including Ukraine.”
The Kremlin’s aide said Russia had been promoting such an arrangement for a long time, emphasizing that it has become particularly serious in the recent rise in tensions, “it simply cannot continue that way.” Added.
He received verbal guarantees from Western leaders that NATO would not expand eastward in the early 1990s, while the Soviet and Russian leadership was alliance with the former Soviet block countries and the former Soviet Republic. ..
Russia and Ukraine are in a tense tug of war after Russia merged Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and cast its weight behind a separatist rebellion in the eastern industrial center of Ukraine known as Donbus. It remains trapped. More than 14,000 people died in battle.
The Ukrainian defense minister warned on Friday that the escalation was “a likely scenario, but not certain. Our mission is to avoid it.”
“Our intelligence analyzes all scenarios, including the worst ones. The most likely time (Russia) is ready for escalation is at the end of January.”
Konstantin Kosachov, Vice-Chairman of the Senate of Parliament, reaffirmed that Moscow denied pondering the attack.
“There are no plans to attack Ukraine. There will be no increased military activity near the Ukrainian border. Kosachov told Russia’s national television channel Russia-24.
The Kremlin has expressed concern that Ukraine may use its power to regain control of the eastern rebels. And in addition to tensions, the head of a Russian-backed self-proclaimed separatist republic in eastern Ukraine said Thursday that if the region faces a Ukrainian attack, it can rely on Moscow for military assistance.
Reznikov said Ukraine does nothing to provoke Russia, but is ready to respond in the event of an attack. “Ukraine is most interested in political and diplomatic solutions,” Defense Minister said.
Karmanau reported from Kiev, Ukraine. Dasha Litvinova of Moscow contributed to this report.
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Putin seeks Ukrainian guarantee from Biden
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