Russian, Ukrainian, French and German negotiators met at midday in the French capital in the format
Normandy to try to defuse the crisis after a series of talks between Russians and Americans last week.
The meeting was still in progress around 3 p.m. (GMT) and speeches by Russian and Ukrainian negotiators were expected in the afternoon.
It is very encouraging that the Russians have agreed to re-enter this diplomatic format, the only one in which the Russians are involved. This meeting will give a clear indication of the state of mind of the Russians, before the meeting on Friday between Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putinestimated the Elysee.
We want de-escalation, which requires both dialogue and deterrenceadded the French presidency.
An attack by mid-February?
Tensions have risen steadily in recent months around Ukraine, with Moscow accused by the West of moving tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine’s borders for an offensive. Russia, for its part, demands guarantees for its security, including the rejection of this country’s accession to theNATO.
Everything indicates that President Vladimir Putin
will use military force at some point, possibly between now and mid-FebruaryUS Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said on Wednesday.
The head of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov, had previously claimed that
if the West pursues[vai]you [sur] his warlike wayMoscow would take
necessary response measures and denounced
hysteria the West about the supposed imminence of a Russian military intervention in Ukraine.
Americans like theNATO on Wednesday handed in their written response demanded by Russia to its demands for the non-enlargement of the Alliance to Ukraine and for the withdrawal of allied forces from Eastern Europe. Requests deemed unacceptable by most Western countries.
Within the framework of past negotiations between the Russians and the Americans, the latter and the
President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that he could
design to personally sanction Vladimir Putin, promising to
huge consequences if Moscow attacked Ukraine, a decision that
would change the world.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov retorted on Wednesday that such sanctions would not be
not painful politically for the Russian head of state, although
destructive for relations between Moscow and the West.
A dialogue is taking place on sanctions with European and American partners and the institutionsexplained the French presidency, specifying that possible
sanctions must not lead to aftershocks that would cost us a boomerang. Sanctions are not the be-all and end-all of the response.
Not enough soldiers to invade, says Kiev
Russia has increased military maneuvers in recent weeks, including on the Ukrainian borders with exercises launched on Tuesday involving some 6,000 men, fighter jets and bombers in the South and in Crimea, a peninsula that Moscow annexed in 2014.
Russia has also massed up to 100,000 troops on Ukrainian borders. If Ukraine has been alarmed for weeks by an imminent invasion, it nevertheless estimated on Wednesday that this number was still
insufficient to launch a major attack on the country.
is important, it poses a threat to Ukrainecorn
as we speak, this number is insufficient for a full-scale offensive against Ukraine along the entire Ukrainian bordersaid the head of Ukrainian diplomacy Dmytro Kouleba.
The United States, for its part, placed some 8,500 soldiers on alert Monday, which could reinforce the Rapid Reaction Force of theNATO of 40,000 soldiers. However, the decision to deploy them has not been taken.
L’NATO has announced that it is placing forces on standby and sending ships and fighter jets to strengthen its defenses in Eastern Europe, while Russia considers Alliance troops in its neighborhood an existential threat .
Another possible source of tension, a senior Russian parliament official, Andrei Tourchak, called on Wednesday for the delivery of weapons to pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, which Kiev has been fighting since 2014 in a war that has killed more than 13,000 people. dead.