The presidents of the United States, Joe Biden, and of Russia, Vladimir Putin, agreed to meet in a summit, with the condition that Russia does not invade Ukraine, the French government reported.
It’s a statement, the Elysée Palace explained that the French president, Emmanuel Macrontalked so much with Biden as with Putin and proposed that a summit could be held between these last twoand then with all stakeholders, on security and strategic stability in Europe.
At their meeting on February 24, the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and his Russian counterpart, Serguei Lavrov, will define the details of the meeting, while Macron will be in charge of the content of the discussions with the other parties involved.
Hours earlier, Blinken had warned that Russia would be “on the verge” of invading Ukraine. The White House confirmed shortly after the Elysee statement was issued that he agreed “in principle to meet with Putin if an invasion has not occurred by that time.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said yesterday that Russia’s decision to prolong its military presence in Belarus, beyond the end of its military exercises, is a sign that Russia is “preparing an invasion of Ukraine.”
In an interview with CBS News, Stoltenberg reacted to the announcement that Russia and Belarus have decided to extend the inspection time of the forces that have participated in their military exercises when their end was scheduled.
“The fact that these exercises, which were supposed to end, continue, fits with the idea that Russia is preparing for an invasion of Ukraine,” said the NATO secretary general.
Stoltenberg thus aligned himself with the position of the United States, whose president, Joe Biden, said on Friday that he believed that Russian President Vladimir Putin had already made the decision to invade Ukraine.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also interpreted the extension of the maneuvers on Belarusian territory as a sign that Russia is “about to invade” Ukraine, speaking to CNN.
For his part, Stoltenberg alleged that the Russian and Belarusian exercises were “planned for last fall” and are instead happening now, “in the midst of this significant military escalation around Ukraine.”
The maneuvers suppose, according to the Secretary General of NATO, the largest military deployment in Belarus since the Cold War, and since they began on February 10 they have aroused concern in the Government of Kiev and their western partners.
Stoltenberg insisted that NATO is willing to “further strengthen” its military presence on the eastern flank of the Alliance, to which Ukraine does not belong, in the event of a Russian invasion of that country.
It was the Belarusian Defense Minister, Víctor Khrenin, who announced that Russia will prolong its military presence in its territory beyond the maneuvers that take place near the border with Ukraine, and justified it by the tension in eastern Ukraine.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.
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