French president said he wants ‘trust, stability and visibility’ at Kremlin meeting
Scholz and Biden warn of consequences for Russia in Ukraine
On his first trip to the White House as German Chancellor, Mr Scholz said Berlin and Washington “will be united” in their response to an incursion by Moscow, after the US president warned they would bring the £8.3bn project “to an end” if Russian troops cross the Ukrainian border.
It came as UK prime minister Boris Johnson said sanctions and other measures will be ready to go in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, and his government will ask parliament for sanctions on Russian individuals and companies.
Writing in The Times, Mr Johnson said Britain is considering deploying Royal Air Force Typhoon fighters and Royal Navy warships to protect southeastern Europe.
In additional, the UK PM said defence secretary Ben Wallace and foreign secretary Liz Truss will both travel to Moscow soon.
US and Russia clash over use of UN sanctions
The United States and its allies clashed with Russia and China in the UN Security Council over the usefulness and impact of UN sanctions, currently imposed on countries from North Korea to Yemen and Congo as well the al-Qaida and Islamic State extremist groups and their affiliates and supporters.
Russia, which holds the council presidency this meeting and chose the topic – preventing humanitarian and unintended consequences of sanctions – also lashed out at unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union and other countries and groups.
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The United States and its allies clashed with Russia and China in the U.N. Security Council over the usefulness and impact of U.N. sanctions, currently imposed on countries from North Korea to Yemen and Congo as well the al-Qaida and Islamic State extremist groups and their affiliates and supporters
Thomas Kingsley8 February 2022 08:00
Ukraine’s army plans drills with drones, anti-tank missiles this week
Ukraine’s army will conduct military drills from 10 February to 20 February in response to Russian exercises in Belarus near the Ukrainian northern border, Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said late on Monday.
Reznikov told a local TV channel, that Ukrainian soldiers were constantly holding different exercises and from 10 February they would start drilling the use of Bayraktar drones and anti-tank Javelin and NLAW missiles provided by foreign partners.
Western countries say they fear Moscow may be planning to invade Ukraine as it has amassed more than 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border and deployed 30,000 more in Belarus for joint drills. Russia denies such a plan saying it needs to strengthen its defence amid Nato expansion to the East.
Thomas Kingsley8 February 2022 07:45
Boris Johnson says sanctions will be ready if Russia attacks Ukraine
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said sanctions and other measures will be ready in the event of a Russian attack on Ukraine, and his government will ask parliament for sanctions on Russian individuals and companies.
Writing in The Times, Johnson said Britain is considering deploying Royal Air Force Typhoon fighters and Royal Navy warships to protect southeastern Europe.
Mr Johnson also said defense secretary Ben Wallace and foreign secretary Liz Truss will both travel to Moscow soon.
“British sanctions and other measures will be ready for any renewed Russian attack,” Mr Johnson wrote.
Thomas Kingsley8 February 2022 07:30
Putin says European nations will be drawn into war with Russia if Ukraine joins Nato
Vladimir Putin has said that Russia will keep trying to obtain answers from the West to its main security demands – even though he said the US and Nato had “bypassed” them in their formal responses to Moscow’s demands last month.
At a joint news conference with Emmanuel Macron, Mr Putin said Washington and Brussels had raised some issues that could be discussed, although for Russia they were secondary.
But the Russian president said it was important to find a way out of the situation over Ukraine and that dialogue was not over.
Mr Putin warned that, if Ukraine is allowed to join Nato, European nations will be drawn into conflict with Russia.
Andy Gregory8 February 2022 02:50
Macron sees decisive next few days in Ukraine standoff
Emmanuel Macron, who has pushed his diplomatic credentials as he eyes possible re-election in two months’ time, held more than five hours of talks over dinner on Monday with the Russian president.
“The next few days will be decisive and will require intensive discussions which we will pursue together,” Macron told reporters after the meal, which included reindeer with sweet potatoes and blackberries.
Putin suggested some progress had been made at the summit.
“A number of his ideas, proposals, which are probably still too early to talk about, I think it is quite possible to make the basis of our further joint steps,” he said.
The pair are due to speak again after Macron meets with Ukraine’s leadership on Tuesday.
Reuters8 February 2022 01:49
Boris Johnson warns Britain will not ‘flinch’ in verbose Times article
Boris Johnson has warned Russia that invading Ukraine would only strengthen Nato, and mooted the possibility of sending further troops to southeastern Europe.
Writing in The Times tonight, Mr Johnson said the UK would not “flinch” and that its support to Europe and Nato will remain “unconditional and immovable”.
The prime minister’s article begins: “You enter St Sophia’s cathedral beneath a nest of golden cupolas and you stand in a nave of icy granite and take in the blue and ochre mosaics, scarcely faded for being 1,000 years old.
“And when you learn that this cathedral has stood in Kyiv since the 11th century, surviving even the Mongol horde, you find yourself meditating on how it could be that, in 2022, another hostile army is camped on Ukraine’s frontiers.
“When I visited Kyiv last week, the city was visibly livelier than during my last trip five years ago, despite the reality that over 130,000 Russian troops are massed within striking distance of Ukraine.”
Andy Gregory8 February 2022 00:45
Former Russian general calls on Putin to resign over Ukraine crisis
A former Russian general has called for Vladimir Putin to resign over his threats to Ukraine, accusing the Russian president of manufacturing the “artificial” conflict as a “distraction tactic” from mounting domestic problems.
In an open letter, 78-year-old Leonid Ivashov, who chairs the unofficial All-Russian Officers Assembly, said that going to war would not only cost tens of thousands of lives on both sides, but would “forever make Russians and Ukrainians mortal enemies”.
He accused the Moscow elite of appearing willing to risk the “final destruction of Russian statehood and the extermination of the indigenous population of the country”.
Andy Gregory7 February 2022 23:45
Russian aggression will provoke ‘very things Putin says he doesn’t want’, Wallace says
For those catching up on today’s developments, here are more details about the UK’s move to send a further 350 troops to Poland, which is also facing a crisis on its own border with Belarus, whose leader Alexander Lukashenko is an ally of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
The bilateral deployment will “show that we can work together and send a strong signal that Britain and Poland stand side by side”, defence secretary Ben Wallace said.
He warned that, if it invades Ukraine, Russia will face severe sanctions, isolation and “more Nato – the very things that President Putin says he doesn’t want”.
He pointed to the way the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 led to Nato’s “enhanced forward presence” in alliance members Poland and Latvia – and denied that Nato is trying to use “divide and rule” tactics against Moscow.
“Nato is a defensive alliance. It poses no threat to Russia. It is a self-defence mechanism amongst our allies. That is what it is there for. No one wants to divide and rule Russia,” he said.
Andy Gregory7 February 2022 22:50
Here’s the footage of Joe Biden warning that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would mean an “end” to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany – a move Berlin has previously appeared reluctant to back explicitly.
Scholz and Biden warn of consequences for Russia in Ukraine
Andy Gregory7 February 2022 21:53
A diplomatic off-ramp still exists, Biden says
As Joe Biden and Olaf Scholz wrapped up their press conference, one reporter shouted a question as to whether they still believed there was a diplomatic off-ramp for Russia.
“The answer’s yes,” the US president said as he left the stage, but left a follow-up question of “how?” unanswered.
Andy Gregory7 February 2022 21:44
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