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Russians and Brits to discuss Ukraine in Moscow

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Since the last bilateral meeting between our two countries took place in London in 2013, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu offered to meet in Moscow, said the same source.

Glad that Russia has accepted the invitation to meet with its counterpart, Ben Wallace made it clear that he would explore all avenues to achieve stability and a settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, underlined this senior official, according to whom the British part is always in communication with the Russian government for the practical details of this meeting.

The announcement of this bilateral meeting came the day after the talks in Geneva between the Russian and American foreign ministers, Sergei Lavrov and Antony Blinken, which made it possible to initiate a certain relaxation after several weeks of verbal escalation.

The two men indeed agreed on Friday to continue their frank talks, raising the hopes of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that an invasion of Ukraine or a military incursion into its territory won’t happen.

Russia is accused by the West of having massed tens of thousands of troops on the Ukrainian border in preparation for an attack, now likely, according to Washington, to occur at any time. Moscow denies any bellicose intent.

The Kremlin, however, links an appeasement of the situation to guarantees, in particular on the non-enlargement of NATO. This condition is considered unacceptable by Westerners, who threaten Russia with very strong sanctions in the event of a military operation.

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On Friday, the head of diplomacy of the United Kingdom, Liz Truss, for her part warned that a Russian invasion would only lead to a terrible quagmire and loss of life, as during the war of the USSR in Afghanistan or the conflicts in Chechnya, the Kremlin having, according to her, not learned the lessons of history.

Moscow has been pressuring Ukraine since an uprising nearly 10 years ago toppled a government that had resisted calls to get closer to the West.

Russia seized the southern Crimean peninsula in 2014 and a pro-Russian insurgency, which has since claimed more than 13,000 lives, broke out in eastern Ukraine the same year.

Ukraine criticizes Germany

Following calls from Ukraine, the United States, the United Kingdom and the three Baltic states agreed to deliver military equipment, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.

Germany, on the other hand, refused to follow suit, as this would not contribute not currently to defuse the crisis, said its Minister of Defense, Christine Lambrecht, on Saturday. It confined itself to announcing the delivery in February of a field hospital.

A position that aroused the irritation of Kiev.

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Today, Western unity with Russia is more important than ever and German partners must stop undermining unity with such words and actions and encourage Vladimir Putin to unleash a new attack on Ukraine, reacted the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kouleba.

No evacuation of US nationals

Despite this context of extreme tensions, the United States said on Saturday that they did not currently plan to organize an evacuation of their nationals from Ukraine, leaving them the choice of leaving by commercial flights.

The US government has already advised US citizens not to travel to Ukraine and has warned that there was information that Russia is preparing a major military operation against Ukraine, said a spokeswoman for the US Department of State.

If we make the decision to change our position on the presence of American diplomats and their families, Americans should not rely on government-organized evacuations, she added. There are currently commercial flights that can allow departures.

The spokeswoman did not confirm Fox News reports that the State Department ordered the families of US diplomats stationed in Kyiv to begin evacuating the country on Monday.

We have nothing to announce at this stage, did she say. We are rigorously developing plans in case the security situation deteriorates.

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