Diplomatic turmoil continues in Ukraine as US warns of imminent attack from Russia

Vice President Harris will also hold a series of in-person meetings with US allies and partners at the Munich Security Conference later this week, underlining Washington’s commitment to security in the region. Western countries launched the conference at the height of the Cold War to address military conflicts. The Kremlin said it Will not send any officials to the conference.

Biden spoke by phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday, and reiterated the United States’ pledge to respond. “quickly and decisively” The White House said any attack through sanctions and other measures was designed to impose severe economic sanctions on Russia.

According to a readout of the call from Ukrainian officials, Zelensky invited Biden to visit Ukraine “in the coming days,” a visit that Zelensky said would send a “strong signal” and contribute to de-escalation. The White House has not announced any visit. He was the last US president to visit Kiev George W. Bush in 2008.

Zelensky has expressed frustration over bleak warnings from the US military and intelligence officials about an imminent Russian invasion, which has affected Ukraine’s economy. The Ukrainian government said, on Sunday, that it will start subsidizing insurance costs for domestic airlines, in an effort to keep flights coming and leaving the country. Ukrainian airline SkyUp said, on Sunday, that the Irish company that owns its planes prevented one of its planes from entering Ukrainian airspace, forcing a flight from Portugal to Kiev to land in Moldova. Dutch carrier KLM has also suspended flights to Ukraine.

Ukraine also requested a meeting with Russia and other members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe within 48 hours of Moscow’s failure to meet a deadline on Sunday to explain its build-up of more than 130,000 troops along its border with Ukraine, and in Crimea, which was annexed from Before Russia in 2014. Russia is a party to the Vienna Document of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a mechanism by which any member of the European Security Organization can interrogate another member about any military activities it deems to be a threat.

“If Russia is serious when it talks about the indivisibility of security in the OSCE space, it must fulfill its commitment to military transparency in order to de-escalate tensions and enhance security for all,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said. chirp late on Sunday.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe also monitored ceasefire violations from the rebel-held city of Donetsk as part of a stalled seven-year peace deal that failed to end the conflict that erupted in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

On Sunday, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said the OSCE mission was “deliberately drawn into the military psychosis provoked by Washington and used as a tool for possible provocation.”

The Kremlin accused Ukrainian officials of not fulfilling their side of the 2015 peace deal and sought assurances that Ukraine, the former Soviet state, would never be allowed to join the western military alliance NATO.

spree of conversations On both sides of the Atlantic In the last weeks so far it has failed to find a way out of the crisis. Even as the United States and Europe threaten Moscow with severe economic sanctions in the event of an invasion, there are differences in their approach.

President Biden said last week that a controversial European gas pipeline project linking Russia and Germany won’t go ahead If the Kremlin sent its troops to Ukraine. The new German chancellor did not make a firm commitment to abandon the pipeline, nor did he elaborate on potential sanctions, although he sought to present a united front with NATO allies during his first visit to the White House last week.

Schulz only said that Moscow would pay a “heavy price” in the event of an attack, and has been criticized at home and abroad for his government’s refusal to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine while the United States and other NATO allies send missiles and other military weapons. equipment.

Germany and France have also kept their embassies in Kiev open despite looming security threats that have led the United States and several other countries to reduce staff and urge citizens to leave Ukraine as soon as possible. French Ambassador to Ukraine He said on Sunday Paris is now advising French visitors to postpone all trips to the country, although it stopped short of recommending the French leave Ukraine.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday responded to accusations that the United States is spreading panic by warning of a possible attack, saying that Washington and its allies are preparing for all possible outcomes, including a possible diplomatic solution to the crisis.

If Russia moves forward, we will defend NATO territory. We will impose costs on Russia and ensure that we emerge from this as the West is stronger, more determined and purposeful than we have been 30 years ago, and that Russia ultimately bears a significant strategic cost for military action,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Rick Nowak in Paris and Amy B. Wang in Washington contributed to this article.

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