In what could be a crucial week for European Security, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday visited Ukraine before heading to Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on a high-stakes diplomatic incursion. After meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Scholz urged Russia to show panels of de-escalation and reiterated unspecified threats against Russia financial standing if it invades.
“There are no reasonable grounds for such as military deployment,” Scholz said adding, “No one should doubt the determination and the preparation of the EU, NATO, Germany and the United States” in Case of a military offensive.
He urged Moscow “to take up existing offers of dialogue.”
Scholz also told reporters that “no country in the world” had offered more economic aid in the last eight years to Ukraine than Germany with more over $2 billion in help, saying she had made Kyiv”more resilient and independent against foreign influence. »
“I can assure you that we are determined to continue this support,” he said.
Zelenskyy said: “It’s in Ukraine that the future of the European security architecture — of of which our state is a part – is being decided today.”
He also repeated at Monday’s press conference with Scholz that joining the NATO alliance would be guarantee Ukrainian survival.
But Ukraine membership is a sticking point in the talks between Russia and the West, which rejected a demand of Moscow that Kiev will never be admitted by the United States military block.
“We understand that NATO membership would like ensure our security and territorial integrity,” Zelenskyy said.
Zelensky also told Scholz that Russia was using son Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as a “geopolitical weapon”.
The controversial energy link bypassing Ukraine is a growing irritant in Germany’s relations with Washington and Kyiv.
“We have some disagreements in our ratings” of the Russian-German energy link, Zelenskyy said, after talks with Scholz in Kiev.
“We clearly understand that this is a geopolitical weapon.”
Russia has completed building the pipeline, which runs under the Baltic Sea, but German regulators have yet to approve son use.
US President Joe Biden has warned he will find a way to “end” the project should Russia invades Ukraine.
Not to mention the Nord Stream 2 by son name, Scholz said that “no one should doubt of determination and preparation” of Berlin to punish Russia in case he attacks son neighbor.
“We will act then and it will be very large measures that will have a significant impact on economy of russia development opportunities,” Scholz said.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin signaled on Monday that it was ready to continue talking with the West over the security grievances that led to the current Ukrainian crisis, raising hopes that Russia will not invade son beleaguered neighbor within days, as the United States and Europe increasingly fear.
Questions remain about putin intentions, yet. And countries across Europe are evacuating diplomats and on alert for possible impending war amid the worst East-West tensions since the Cold War.
On a last- diplomatic trip abandoned, German Chancellor says there is ‘no reasonable reason’ for building of more more than 130,000 Russian soldiers on the borders of Ukraine as far northsouth and east, and he urged more dialogue. Great Britain prime minister says that Europe is “on the edge of a precipice” – but added”There is still time for President Putin to step back.”
Despite warnings from Washington, London and elsewhere that Russian troops could move on Ukraine anytime, Monday’s meeting between Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested otherwise.
At session with Putin, Lavrov argued that Moscow should hold more talks with the United States and its allies despite their refusal to consider Russia main security requirements.
Moscow, which denies having everything plans invade Ukraine, wants western guarantees that NATO won’t allow Ukraine and others former Soviet countries at join as members. This also wants the alliance to stop arms deployments in Ukraine and roll back its forces from Eastern Europe, demands flatly rejected by the West.
Talks ‘can’t go on indefinitely, but I would suggest continuing and expanding them at this point,” Lavrov said, noting that Washington has offered to conduct dialogue on limits for missile deployments in Europe, restrictions on military exercises and other confidences-building measures. Lavrov said possibilities for the talks “are far from exhausted”.
His remarks, during an orchestrated appearance for The television cameras, seemed designed to send a message to world on Putin’s position: namely, that he hopes for a diplomatic solution does not yet exist dead.
Putin noted that the West might try to drag Russia into ‘endless talks’ without conclusion results and wondered if there was still one chance come to an agreement on that of Moscow key requests. Lavrov replied that son ministry would not allow the United States and its allies to block Russia main requests.
In a phone call on On Sunday, US President Joe Biden and Zelenskyy agreed to continue promoting both deterrence and diplomacy. by Zelensky office also quoted him suggesting that a quick visit from Biden would be help – a possibility that was not mentioned in the white house summary of the call. Such a visit would be little probable car the United States is now operating with a personnel skeletal diplomatic in Kiev.
Kyiv residents have received letters from the mayor urging them to “defend your city”, and signs appeared in apartment buildings indicating the nearest air-raid shelter. The mayor says the capital has about 4,500 such sites, including underground car parks, metro stations and basements.
Dr. Tamara Ugrich said she was storing up on cereals and canned goods, and prepared an emergency suitcase.
“I do not believe in war, but on TV the tension mounts every day and it gets harder and harder to keep son calmed down. the more on tells us not to panic, the more nervous people become,” she said.
Others have followed the advice of Ukrainian leaders not to panic. Street music flooded the place Maidan Central on Sunday evening and crowds dance. “I feel calm. You should always be ready for everything, and then you will have nothing more to fear ofsaid Alona Buznitskaya, a model.
Some airlines canceled flights to Kyiv and troops unloaded cargo of weapons of NATO members.
NATO countries have also summer building up forces in Eastern Europe. germany military say it first of 350 additional soldiers he sends to reinforce NATO forces in Lithuania were dispatched on Monday. Lithuania moved families of diplomats and some non-essential diplomatic workers out of Ukraine after the United States and others fired the most of their personnel embassies in Kiev.
“It’s a big mistake that some embassies have moved to western Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said. decision, but “western Ukraine” does not exist. It is a united Ukraine. If something arriveGod forbid, it (climbing) will be everywhere.
The United States and its NATO allies have repeatedly warned that Russia will pay a high price price for any invasion – but they sometimes struggled to present a united front. of Scholz government, in particular, has been criticized for refuse to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine or spell out what sanctions he supports, raising questions about the resolve. No new details emerged from his visit to Kyiv.
So far NATO’s warnings seem to have had little effect: Russia has only strengthened its troops and weapons in the region and launched massive exercises in son ally Belarus, a neighbor of Ukraine. The West fears that the exercises, which run until Sunday, could be used by Moscow as a cover for a invasion from north.
Russia repeatedly brushed off concerns, saying he has the right to deploy forces on son territory.
One possible off-a ramp emerged this week: Ukraine’s Ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko, raised a possibility of Ukraine suspends NATO candidacy – a goal enshrined in its constitution – if it could avoid war with Russia.
“We could – above all be threatened like this, blackmailed and pushed into this,” Prystaiko told BBC Radio 5.
On Monday, Prystaiko appeared back away from that, saying that “for avoid war we are ready for many concessions… but that has nothing to do with NATO, which is dedicated in the Constitution.”
Asked how Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia would welcome such a move but noted his prompt repudiation by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.
Some lawmakers have called for the dismissal of Prystaiko – but the fact the idea was raised at all suggests it is being discussed behind closed doors.
In the meantime, a meeting will take place place Tuesday by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Russian deployments. Corn on unclear if this could defuse tensions.
Some members of the OSCE mission monitor a ceasefirefire in eastern Ukraine has fired out, and Russian-backed separatists say their departure could facilitate provocations.
With the region on edgethe Russian Ministry of Defense protested to the US Embassy military attached Saturday what he said was an American submarine in Russian waters near the Kuril Islands in The pacific. Russia said the submarine initially ignored orders to leave, but left after the Navy used unspecified “appropriate means”. The United States has denied that its ship ever entered Russian waters.
Asked by lawmakers on Monday if the military could hit foreign warships entering Russian waters, Deputy Chief of Staff Stanislav Gadzhimagomedov said he was ready, but added Phone decisions are only made to highest level.
Russia and Ukraine have been locked down in a bitter conflict since 2014, when a popular uprising toppled Ukraine’s pro-Kremlin leader. Moscow responded by annexing the Crimean peninsula and supporting the separatists in the east, where the fighting killed over 14,000 people.
A 2015 peace deal brokered by France and Germany helped halt battlesbut regular skirmishes have continued and efforts to reach a political settlement have stalled.