Diesel-electric submarine of the Russian Navy “Rostov-on-Don” sails to the Bosphorus, on the way to the Black Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey, February 13, 2022.
Yoruk Isik | Reuters
Ukraine has requested a meeting with Russia within 48 hours, as US intelligence officials warn that the Russian invasion could begin this week.
On Sunday evening, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said that Russia had not responded to a request made by Ukraine in accordance with the Vienna Document – the treaty was signed by 56 member states aimed at maintaining military transparency across Europe – to meet.
“So we’re taking the next step,” Kuleba said the statement said. “We request a meeting with Russia and all participating countries within 48 hours to discuss its strengthening and redeployment along our border and in the temporarily occupied Crimea.”
U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN on Sunday that Russia’s attack on Ukraine could happen “any day.”
“That includes next week,” he said.
Security officers in Washington, London and Ukraine said Politico on Friday that U.S. intelligence officers informed the Allies last week that the invasion could begin on Wednesday, February 16th. However, Sullivan said Sunday that officials “cannot predict the day perfectly.”
About 30,000 Russian servicemen are currently involved in the fighting 10-day exercise program with neighboring Belaruswhich also borders Ukraine.
The exercises, which are seen as a show of strength by Russia, are taking place at a time when more than 100,000 soldiers, tanks, missiles and even fresh blood have been dumped on Russia’s border with Ukraine.
Russia demands that Ukraine never become a member of NATO’s military alliance, and has said it wants the organization to reduce its presence in Eastern Europe.
Moscow insists it has no plans to invade Ukraine.
Ukraine has also accused Russia of creating a naval blockade, according to the BBCofficials say the Azov and Black Seas have been blocked by Russian forces, which are due to begin naval exercises this week.
Russia invaded and annexed Crimea, a peninsula in southern Ukraine, in 2014.
President of the United States Joe Biden talked to his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky during a conversation on Sunday.
“President Biden reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the White House said in a press release.
“President Biden has made it clear that the United States will respond quickly and decisively with its allies and partners to any further Russian aggression against Ukraine. The leaders of the two countries agreed on the importance of continuing diplomacy and deterrence in response to Russia’s military construction. on the border of Ukraine “.
It came after a call between Biden and the Russian president Vladimir Putin on Saturday, in which Biden reiterated that the United States and its allies and partners “will respond decisively and inflict quick and serious costs on Russia.”
Biden told Putin that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would cause “widespread human suffering” and “reduce Russia’s position,” the White House said in a statement, adding that while the United States and its allies were ready for diplomacy, they were also ” equally prepared for other scenarios ”.
U.S. allies, including Britain and France, have also been in talks with Russian ministers in recent weeks in a bid to resolve tensions diplomatically.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson warned last week that Europe is “on the brink”, adding that “things are as dangerous as I have seen them in Europe for a very, very long time.”
Several Western countries have threatened to impose severe economic sanctions on Russia if it attacks Ukraine.
Bob Menendez, chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN last month that the committee developed “mothers of all sanctions” against Russia that would “suffer their economy” as a way to defend Ukraine.
This was also stated by German ministers that Russia will face “massive” economic consequences if it takes aggressive action against Ukraine, and British lawmakers have publicly taken the same position.
However, while some Western countries have sent military equipment to Ukraine, the German government has done so refused to send weapons to the country. Chancellor Olaf Scholz is due to travel to Kyiv on Monday to meet with Zelensky and meet with Putin in Moscow on Tuesday.
Scholz reiterated on Sunday that Russia’s attack on Ukraine would lead to “a harsh reaction and sanctions that we have carefully prepared and that we can put into effect immediately.” This was reported by Reuters.
Berlin did not expect “concrete results” from the talks, according to the news agency, but Scholz stressed that the Kremlin “should not underestimate the unity between the European Union, the United States and Britain.”
Jan Friedrich Kalmorgen, founder and managing partner of Berlin Global Advisors, told CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe on Monday that it made strategic sense for Biden to lead the diplomatic effort.
“Putin doesn’t take international organizations like the OECD or the EU so seriously, he likes to talk bilaterally, he likes to be the center of attention, he likes Macron and Scholz to visit him, and the big prize, of course, is the United States. , “he said.
Kalmorgen added that the crisis is likely to cause a “remarkable shift” towards a more robust foreign policy in Germany and other Western countries, which is likely to include greater commitments to NATO.
“Putin deserves a transatlantic award for what he has brought [the West] closer than ever since 1999, ”he told CNBC.
“There is a very clear determination, we are all singing from the same anthem. I think there is a very coordinated, very credible response: sanctions that I believe are credible, and there is also a willingness to increase NATO’s presence in NATO countries. if necessary. “
Last week, Biden warned that US citizens should leave Ukraine immediately, tells NBC News that the country “can go crazy fast”.
However he ruled out the sending of American troops to Ukrainestating that there was no scenario in which he could see this happening – including as part of an evacuation scheme for U.S. citizens.
Some airlines have as reported canceled or redirected flights to Ukraine as tensions continue to rise.
On Saturday, the Pentagon ordered all US troops in Ukraine leave the country and move to other European countries.
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Friday that the government continues to “abolish” its embassy in Ukraine, adding that “the invasion could begin at any moment.”