The Russians and Westerners are blaming each other for triggering the crisis, at the risk of provoking a major conflict in recent weeks. However, despite the lack of results, diplomatic efforts continue.
About 6,000 troops, fighter jets and bombers are involved in the Russian exercises announced on Tuesday. They take place in southern Russia, especially near Ukraine, and in the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed in 2014.
Moscow, which has stationed tens of thousands of troops near Ukraine in recent months, last week announced naval maneuvers in the Atlantic, Arctic, Pacific and Mediterranean, as well as joint exercises with Belarus on EU borders.
At noon on Tuesday, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he was “deeply concerned” that the United States had warned 8,500 troops on Monday that they could strengthen NATO’s rapid reaction force of 40,000 troops. No decision has been made on hiring them.
Mr. According to Pesco, Washington is raising a new “tension” the day before the announcement of the departure of the families of US embassy officials from Ukraine, according to the United States, due to the imminent danger of a Russian invasion. .
Kiev is due to receive a new supply of “equipment and ammunition” from the United States on Tuesday, according to the U.S. embassy, as part of a $ 200 million assistance from the White House. .
Ukrainian officials on Tuesday ordered the removal of a group preparing for armed attacks on the country’s territories, especially on the Russian border, on Moscow’s orders.
NATO has announced that it is preparing troops and sending ships and warplanes to strengthen its defenses in Eastern Europe, while Russia views its allied troops around it as an existential threat.
Answer this week
Westerners accuse Moscow of stationing 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border for a possible attack.
Russia denies any plans for an attack, but minimizes expansion with agreements guaranteeing NATO not to expand, especially with Ukraine.
These demands are considered as unacceptable in Europe as in the United States, but they say they take Moscow’s security concerns and want to negotiate solutions.
After a round of talks, Washington is due to submit a written response to Russian demands this week. But at the same time, US President Joe Biden has stepped up pressure to keep troops on alert.
However, this hardening came as a surprise to some European leaders, who were anxious not to provoke the Kremlin.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who is scheduled to meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholes in Berlin on Tuesday, said he would like to pave the way for his Russian President Vladimir Putin to “slow down growth” in the coming days. The Kremlin confirmed an interview within the week.
Paris is also holding a meeting of high-level advisers on Wednesday with Germany, Russia and Ukraine to try to revive the format of dialogue that has stalled since 2015.
The United States has assured Europeans that it has “no difference” with sanctions imposed on Russia during the invasion of Ukraine or the urgency of the threat.
Mr. Biden also held a video conference with European Union and NATO leaders on Monday.
To get out of the crisis, Russia is seeking legitimate texts not to expand NATO and to withdraw Atlantic Alliance forces and weapons from Eastern European countries after 1997.
Moscow has promised “very serious consequences” if its “legitimate concerns” are ignored.
In the event of an invasion, Westerners offer unprecedented sanctions. But the Kremlin has always shown that it is not sensitive to this kind of revenge.
A series of options were prepared by the European Commission. Russia’s reduction in gas and oil purchases is being investigated, a European source told AFP, but the issue divides Europeans.
On the US side, Joe Biden plans to ban Russian banks from using the dollar, which could have a devastating effect on the country’s economy.
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