Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday observed the Russia’s strategic nuclear forces exercises on screens with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko from a situation centre.
Meanwhile, White House said U.S President Joe Biden’s national security team told him they still believe that Russia could launch an attack in Ukraine “at any time” and he planned to convene his top advisers today to discuss the crisis.
On the otherhannd, foreign ministers from the G7 group of rich nations said they had seen no evidence Russia is reducing its military activity in the area and remained “gravely concerned” about the situation.
After Ukraine and Russia traded accusations over new shelling near the border, France and Germany urged their citizens in Ukraine to leave. U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said Russian forces are beginning to “uncoil and move closer” to the border.
In a press conference Austin said an invasion of Ukraine is not inevitable. He hoped that Putin will steps back from the brink of conflict.
Russia ordered the military build-up while demanding NATO prevent Ukraine from ever joining the alliance but says Western warnings that it is planning to invade Ukraine are hysterical and dangerous.
Moscow says it is pulling back, but Washington and allies say the build-up is mounting. Washington and NATO say Moscow’s main demands are non-starters, but in Ukraine fears are growing over Putin’s plans.
Venting his frustration at a security conference in Munich, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the global security architecture is almost broken. He urged the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Germany and Turkey to meet to draw up new security guarantees for his country.
Meanwhile, World Bank President David Malpass told Zelenskiy yesterday that the bank is readying funding to Ukraine of up to 350 million dollar.