Aerospace & Defence Diplomacy News in brief Ukraine

US Secretary of State challenges Moscow to “state it plainly” it won’t invade Ukraine

| 2022-02-17 < 1 min read

US Secretary of State challenges Moscow to “state it plainly” it won’t invade Ukraine

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US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that the prospect of Russian forces invading Ukraine remains a real threat, a “very high” one in the coming days. “Every indication we have is they’re prepared to go into Ukraine,” said Biden, who warned that Russia could employ a “false flag” operation as a pretext to go on the offensive. Despite its declarations, Moscow has still not pulled its troops and armaments back from Ukraine’s borders, according to information from western governments and NATO.

Making a stop at the UN Security Council in New York earlier on Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated the US President’s warning and outlined the steps of how Moscow might fabricate a reason to commence hostilities against Kyiv. Blinken said, “Let me be clear. I am here today not to start a war but to prevent one.”

He dared the Kremlin to “announce today with no qualification, equivocation or deflection that Russia will not invade Ukraine. State it clearly. State it plainly to the world.”

Also on Thursday, Moscow sent an 11-page reply to Washington’s proposal to deescalate the Ukraine crisis. The uncompromising letter insists that “all US troops and weaponry be withdrawn from central and eastern Europe, south-eastern Europe and the Baltics”, according to analysis from BBC Moscow Correspondent Steven Rosenberg, who doesn’t believe that’s anything America is likely to agree to.

Some shelling was also reported to have taken place today in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the European Commission signalled its support for Kyiv, tweeting “Ukraine is a free and sovereign country. The new Emergency Macro-Financial Assistance programme will provide EUR 1.2 billion to help Ukraine strengthen its economic stability and resilience, directly benefiting Ukrainian citizens.”

Source: Al Jazeera, BBC, France 24