U.S. President warned Kiev of “Russian invasion” in February
Washington initiated discussions early next week at the UN Security Council on the Ukraine crisis, and Joe Biden in a telephone conversation with Volodymyr Zelensky warned of the possibility of a “Russian invasion”; to Ukraine in February. The conversation between the two presidents caused a series of disputes between Washington and Kiev, which were reflected in the reports of the American and British media.
Vladimir Zelensky. Photo: AP
CNN:A phone conversation between US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday 'didn't go smoothly', a senior Ukrainian official told CNN amid controversy over 'levels of risk' Russian attack. The White House, however, disputed the official's account, arguing that anonymous sources were “spreading fakes.” They said Biden warned Zelensky that an imminent invasion was a “likely possibility.”
In what a Ukrainian source described as “long and frank” on the phone, Biden warned his Ukrainian counterpart of a Russian attack, arguing that an invasion was now all but inevitable when the ground froze later in February. Zelenskiy, however, reiterated his position that the Russian threat remains “dangerous but ambiguous” and there is no certainty that an attack will take place, the source claims.
National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horn disputed the description by a senior Ukrainian official. «Anonymous sources leak lie– she told CNN. – President Biden said there was a clear possibility that the Russians might invade Ukraine in February. He stated this publicly, and we have been warning about it for months. Reports of anything more or different than this are completely false…
The White House report said Biden “confirmed” Zelensky that the United States “will respond strongly if Russia continues to invade Ukraine.” Biden also said the US would explore “additional macroeconomic support” to help the Ukrainian economy as a result of Russia's military buildup.
Sky News:“Joe Biden warned the President of Ukraine that there was “a clear possibility that Russia could take military action against this country in February.” The Kremlin spoke in an equally grim tone, saying it saw “little reason for optimism” on the issue of handling the crisis after the US once again rejected key Russian demands this week.
The White House said US President Vladimir Zelensky's comments in a telephone call reinforced concerns that administration officials had been expressing for some time. ..
On Thursday, the US Ambassador to the UN asked the Security Council to hold an open meeting on Monday. “Russia is participating in destabilizing actions directed against Ukraine, which poses a clear threat to international peace and security and the UN Charter, – said Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield. – Now is not the time to wait and see. The Council's full attention is needed now, and we look forward to a direct and focused discussion on Monday.
“As we continue to tirelessly engage in diplomacy to reduce tensions in the face of this grave threat to European and global peace and security, the UN Security Council is an essential platform for diplomacy,” – Thomas-Greenfield says.
The UN Security Council has met dozens of times to discuss the Ukraine issue since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, but cannot take action because Russia has veto power.
Biden's warning came in a phone call with Zelensky, in which they also agreed on “joint action for the future”; and discussed the possibilities of financial support. The US has tried to reassure EU members that it will help them find alternative sources of gas if Russia cuts off supplies. Approximately one third of gas supplies to the EU countries come from Russia. Earlier, the United States threatened to block the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. from Russia to Germany if Moscow takes steps towards Ukraine.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said: “I want to be very clear: if Russia invades Ukraine one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will won't move on. We will work with Germany to ensure it doesn't move forward.”
The Guardian: dedicated to “threatening behavior” Russia, hoping to provoke condemnation, even though Moscow can veto any resolution.
Biden also spoke on the phone Thursday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and said the US was considering economic support after providing $650 million in military aid over the past year. Biden “reaffirmed the readiness of the United States, along with its allies and partners, to respond decisively if Russia continues to invade Ukraine,” – White House statement says.
But Biden, acknowledging the danger of the moment, reiterated his warning that Ukraine could indeed face a Russian invasion next month… NATO put 8,500 troops on standby for the Ukraine crisis, reminiscent of the Cold War with the Soviet Union.< /p>
Russia denies any invasion plans, but last month demanded broad security guarantees from the West, notably that Ukraine would never be allowed to join the US-led NATO military alliance. Washington on Wednesday issued a response in coordination with NATO allies such as Britain and France, saying that Ukraine has the right to determine its own allies, while offering Russia talks on missile deployment and other mutual issues.
The New York Times:“When President Biden held a videoconference with European leaders this week about Ukraine, it expressed the entire reality of the Cold War crisis, filled with the specter of Russian tanks and troops threatening Eastern Europe. But Biden has expanded the number of seats on his war council, adding Poland, Italy and the European Union to the usual mix of Britain, France and Germany… For the Biden administration, this amounts to a much-needed diplomatic reset. The United States is moving with vigor and dexterity in orchestrating a response to Russian threats, European officials say. Since mid-November, Biden has held at least 180 summits or other contacts with European representatives … Despite being weighed down at home by internal problems, and in some skeptical European capitals he is considered a transitional figure, the president has become a leader in Western efforts to countering threats from Russian President Vladimir Putin…
In a phone call Thursday, Biden promised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that the United States and its allies would “strongly respond if Russia continues to invade Ukraine,” the White House said in a statement… The United States also urged the UN Security Council to hold an open meeting to discuss “Russia's threatening behavior towards Ukraine.” “Now is not the time to sit and wait,” – Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Thursday.
The United States does not rely solely on diplomacy. They have put 8,500 troops on alert for deployment to Eastern Europe, sent defensive weapons to Ukraine, and are negotiating to divert natural gas from other suppliers if Russia cuts off gas pipelines that supply Germany and other countries…
Biden was not without error: his recent statement that a “minor intrusion” Russia would elicit a different reaction from the West than a full-scale invasion has angered Ukraine and alarmed European governments, especially those in countries bordering Russia. This required hasty corrective action by the White House.