US President Joe Biden warned on Thursday that Russia could still invade Ukraine within days and Russia expelled the No. 2 diplomat at the US embassy in Moscow as tensions escalated into the worst east-west standoff in decades. increased again.
NATO allies accused Russia of misleading the world by saying it was returning some troops to bases, but instead moved thousands of new troops. The pullout pledge was one of the Russian gestures this week that briefly cooled the temperature. Russia is believed to have about 150,000 military forces around Ukraine’s borders, raising fears of a new war in Europe. Tensions also escalated on Thursday along the line that separates Ukraine’s military from Russia-backed separatists, each accusing the other of intense shelling.
In a surprise blow to diplomacy, the State Department said Russia ordered Bart Gorman, deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in Moscow, to leave the country. It called the move “unprovoked” and “a swift move”. Russia did not say why they were fired.
Doubts grew in the West over exactly what Russia is doing with its troops around Ukraine – which comprises an estimated 60% of total Russian ground forces – and about President Vladimir Putin’s overall intentions. Biden’s comments on the Russian threat were his harshest to date, suggesting an alarming assessment of the administration’s position.
Speaking at the White House, he said Washington saw no signs of a Russian withdrawal, and said the threat of invasion remained “very high” as Russia moved more troops toward the border with Ukraine rather than drive them out. Is done. “We have every indication that they are ready to go to Ukraine, attack Ukraine,” he told reporters. He said the US has “reason to believe” Russia is “involved in false flag operations as an excuse to go in”, but did not give details. Biden said he had “no plans” to speak to Putin any time soon.
Russia submitted a response to the US on Thursday offering diplomacy, limiting the deployment of missiles to Europe, a ban on military exercises and engaging in talks on other confidence-building measures. The response issued by the foreign ministry condemned the West’s refusal to meet core Russian security and demands and confirmed that Moscow could take unspecified “military-technical measures” if the US and its allies continue to address their concerns. Is. It also said that Russia is ready to discuss the extent of missile deployment, a ban on patrol flights by strategic bombers and other confidence-building steps.
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