As the meeting between the Russian and US presidents on Sunday became almost official, Moscow announced on Monday that it had “advanced” and that a phone call would suffice.
This Monday, the Kremlin considered holding a summit between Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden aimed at reducing the risk of Russian invasion of Ukraine, undermining the confidence raised by the French announcement the day before.
The announcement by the French president overnight from Sunday to Monday was aimed at easing tensions over the policy of such a summit, at the height of which, fighting between the military and pro-Russian separatists around Ukraine has escalated in the east of the country. For the past three days. Russia has been accused of amassing about 150,000 troops on the Ukrainian border in the wake of an invasion that Westerners have been proposing for weeks. There are fears that Moscow could use an extension to invade its pro-Western neighbor in eastern Ukraine.
“There is agreement that the dialogue should continue at the level of foreign ministers. It is too early to talk about concrete plans for organizing summits, “said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday. According to him, a meeting is possible if Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden consider it “useful”, but the latter can always talk to each other “on the phone or in some other way”.
New Lavrov-Blingen meeting on Thursday
A day after Emmanuel Macron’s telephone diplomacy, the French president announced overnight from Sunday to Monday that each of the Russian and American presidents had “accepted the policy of such a summit,” noting that the talks would be “extended to all stakeholders.” “In the Ukrainian crisis.
A meeting between Russian and US diplomatic leaders Sergei Lavrov and Anthony Blingen is also scheduled for Thursday.
Like Washington, Paris insisted that the summit could only take place if Russia did not invade Ukraine. However, according to the West, the current fighting in the East may be an excuse for Moscow to attack its neighbors. Vladimir Putin is set to chair a meeting of his Security Council, a powerful body that brings together key Russian decision-makers, especially heads of the military and intelligence services.
Serial bombings …
Clashes on the ground continued Monday in eastern Ukraine, with Kiev announcing 14 shelling by pro-Russian rebels, in which one soldier was wounded. The separatists have blamed “Ukrainian saboteurs” for the shelling that killed three civilians and the explosion of an ammunition depot in the Novosovsk region in the past 24 hours. However, this information could not be verified independently.
In eastern Ukraine (Donetsk and Lukansk), two self-proclaimed pro-Russian “republics” have ordered the mobilization of talented men and the expulsion of civilians to Russia. Moscow says 61,000 people have been evacuated from the region.
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