19.6 C
luni, 27 mai 2024 - 18:48
No menu items!

Blinken arrives in Ukraine amid fears of Russian invasion


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Ukraine on Wednesday amid mounting fears that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could be imminent, according to BBC.

Blinken is to hold discussions with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, before meeting European allies in Berlin and his Russian counterpart in Geneva on Friday.

Russia has repeatedly denied planning to invade neighbouring Ukraine. But senior US officials say Moscow could attack at „any point”.

An estimated 100,000 Russian troops have been deployed near Ukraine’s borders and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday the build-up had created an extremely dangerous situation.

Senior state department officials have indicated that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov may be offered the option of a diplomatic off-ramp in Geneva. Psaki said no option was off the table and that Blinken would highlight very clearly there is a diplomatic path forward.

Russia has made a raft of demands to Western governments, including that Ukraine should never join NATO and that the defensive alliance’s military activities should be limited in member states including Poland.

Talks between the West and Russia last week failed to reach a breakthrough, with some of Moscow’s demands rejected as non-starters.

Although Russia says it has no plans for an invasion, tensions remain high near Ukraine’s borders – with Russian troops deployed in neighbouring Belarus for what have been termed joint military exercises.

Blinken’s visit to Kyiv on Wednesday was described as a bid to „reinforce the United States’ commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”, before talks in Berlin on Thursday with German, French and British counterparts.

The German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who visited Moscow on Tuesday, has warned that any further military escalation „would carry a high price for the Russian regime – economic, political and strategic”.

Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov has urged Western governments to impose immediate sanctions on Moscow.