May 25, 2024

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Call between Biden and Putin | Tensions have not eased over the Ukrainian crisis

(Washington, Moscow, Kiev) Diplomatic efforts between Western leaders and Moscow on Saturday, marked by frantic phone calls, failed to defuse tensions around Ukraine, and the Kremlin condemned US “hysteria” and called Joe Biden “harsh on Vladimir Putin.” “In the event of an attack.

Released at 1:44 p.m.
Updated at 3:21 p.m.

Sebastian Smith, Andrea Palaciano and Olga Netbeva
French Media Company

Washington on Friday stressed the risk of an “immediate” occupation of Ukraine by Russia, which has amassed more than 100,000 troops near the border and launched military maneuvers in the Black Sea and Belarus.

Such an invasion would have “rapid and severe” consequences for Russia, Joe Biden warned in an interview with his Russian opponent on Saturday. The White House has said it will “cause significant human suffering and weaken Russia’s position.”

Photo by Sergei Savostyanov, Associated Press Archives

Russian President Vladimir Putin

“The frenzy has reached its peak,” said Yuri Ushakov, Vladimir Putin’s diplomatic adviser.

The exchange “did not lead to a fundamental change,” he said, authorizing an unnamed U.S. official. According to him, “we do not yet know whether Russia will support diplomacy rather than use force.”

The same observation was made in Paris after an interview with President Emmanuel Macron and his Russian envoy: “Our feeling is that Vladimir Putin is on the same platform. […] In a demanding, provocative mood, be careful to keep all options open.

“Arms distribution”

Since the first troops were sent near Ukraine in November, Moscow has denied any intent to invade, but has called for an end to NATO expansion and a halt to Western support for the country it considers part of its sphere of influence.

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During his talks with the French president, Vladimir Putin criticized his neighbor for “providing large quantities of modern weapons”, believing that they had created “preconditions for possible aggression by Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine, where Russia supported armed separatists.” For eight years.

During the Russian military operation, Mr. Macron reiterated to him that he would invite German Chancellor Olaf Scholes and Ukrainian President Volodymyr to continue his diplomatic efforts with Joe Biden. Zhelensky.

Photo by Sergei Subinsky, Agencies France-Press

French President Emmanuel Macron and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky

Beyond the presidents, serious diplomatic exchanges included calls between Russian diplomatic leaders Sergei Lavrov and American Anthony Blinken, who also spoke with his British envoy, Liz Truss. US and Russian Defense Ministers Lloyd Austin and Sergei Shoigu also exchanged views.

The German president will travel to Kiev on Monday and to Moscow on Tuesday to light the torch.

Do not panic

At the same time, the list of countries inviting their citizens to leave Ukraine, including the United States, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada, Norway or Australia, Japan and Israel, continues to grow.

KLM Airlines announced on Saturday that it would suspend flights to Ukraine until further notice.

Moscow has recalled some of its embassy staff, citing fears of adverse “provocations”.

The United States has ordered the evacuation of most of the US embassy staff in Kiev, saying the Russian offensive “could begin at any time without warning.” About 160 U.S. soldiers who were training for Ukrainian forces were also ordered to leave.

Photo by Valentine Okirenko, Reuters

US Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine

For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky again considered the US statements too dangerous.

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“All of this information (about a potential attack) only causes panic and does not help us,” he said.

In Kiev, thousands of protesters marched on Saturday, saying they had taken the threat seriously but precisely refused to panic.

“Panic is useless. We must fight together for our freedom, ”said student Maria Tsherpenko. I love Ukraine. ”

Outgoing calls

Adding to the tensions, Russia on Saturday launched new naval maneuvers in the Black Sea to train to “defend” the peninsula Crimea, which was annexed in 2014. The Ministry of Defense said the Russian navy had hunted down a submarine. Its water in the Pacific Ocean on Saturday.

Westerners refuse to deploy their forces during war, but plan catastrophic economic retaliation.

This crisis, according to Westerners, has been the most dangerous in Europe since the end of the Cold War.

The White House has already outlined the context for the Russian attack, citing “airstrikes and missile strikes” and a possible attack on the capital, Kiev.