Ahead of the Biden-Putin summit: Western heads of state support Ukraine

Status: 07.12.2021 04:48 a.m.

Before the Biden-Putin summit, the heads of state from Germany, the USA, France, Italy and Great Britain demonstrated their support for Ukraine. In the evening, the NATO military committee dealt with the Russian troop movements.

In view of the growing military tensions with Russia, Germany, the USA, France, Italy and Great Britain have demonstratively supported Ukraine. The heads of state and government of the five countries expressed their “determination that the sovereignty of” Ukraine “must be” respected “at a conference call, the French Elysée Palace announced in the evening.

The agreement between the five allies came on the eve of a highly anticipated video summit between US President Joe Biden and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

Joint appeal in Putin

With Russian troops moving on the Ukrainian border, Western governments are concerned that Russia might prepare an attack on the neighboring country. In the telephone conversation, the heads of government affirmed, according to Paris, their readiness “to work for the maintenance of peace and security in Europe”.

Accordingly, they again appealed to Putin to continue negotiations to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine in the so-called Normandy format. In addition to Russia and Ukraine, Germany and France are also involved in the talks.

USA threatens Russia with troops and sanctions

The White House had previously warned that the US would be ready to increase its military presence in Eastern Europe and to impose “tough economic sanctions” if Russian troops enter eastern Ukraine. Washington is not currently considering a direct military response.

Moscow has repeatedly denied any warlike intentions and accused the Western powers of intensifying the “provocations”. The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi paid a visit to the soldiers on the front line in the east of his country.

Pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian army have been fighting in eastern Ukraine since 2014 after Moscow annexed the Crimean peninsula. In the conflict, Russia supports the separatists who have proclaimed so-called People’s Republics in Luhansk and Donetsk. More than 13,000 people have died in the conflict so far.

NATO Military Committee deals with Russia in special session

In the evening, the Chiefs of Staff of the 30 NATO countries also held a special meeting to discuss the Russian troop movements not far from the Ukrainian border. According to information from the German Press Agency, the talks in the Alliance’s military committee included US information that Russia had made preparations for an attack on Ukraine.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had said last week that it was “deeply concerned about evidence that Russia had plans for major aggressive steps against Ukraine.” Details of the talks conducted via video conference have not been published by NATO.

A press release only said that the Commander-in-Chief in Europe and the Assistant Secretary General for Intelligence Cooperation and Security had briefed participants on security challenges. The aim of the exchange was to achieve a common understanding of the situation in order to strengthen the deterrent and defense system of the alliance. In addition, the aim was to promote transparency between the alliance partners and to coordinate ongoing activities.

US perspective on the planned talks between Biden and Putin

Katrin Brand, ARD Washington, December 7th, 2021 5:27 am

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