Ukrainian Defense Ministry officials have warned that Russia may launch an attack on Ukraine next January, and a report published by the American National Interest website stated that Ukrainian officials warned that the scenario of the Russian invasion may not be limited to the Donbass region, but may Includes amphibious landings in Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea.

The report - prepared by Mark Episkopos, the website's national security correspondent - also indicated that Washington does not rule out that Russian military activities on the border with Ukraine are part of a larger Russian pressure campaign to extract political or diplomatic concessions from the West.

And the statements of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken - during the NATO meeting in Latvia last Wednesday - reflected that assumption, as he said, "We do not know if President Putin made a decision to invade Ukraine."

"We know he muster the capabilities to do so at short notice if he decides to do so. So, despite the uncertainty about the intent and timing, we must prepare for all contingencies as we work to see Russia change course," he added.


Blinken had expressed - during a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Stockholm - last Thursday, the Biden administration's concerns about "Russia's plans to renew its aggression against Ukraine," stressing Washington's "strong and firm commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," calling on both Moscow and Kiev to abide with the Minsk agreements.

The site indicated that Lavrov, in his public statements, did not comment on US concerns about Russian military reinforcements on the border with Ukraine.

The website quoted former US ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst as saying that Moscow is in a position to act without warning, and that the Russian military buildup "poses a threat and is in a position to do so (the invasion) if it wants to."

Tensions between Moscow and Kiev have risen in recent weeks after Russia massed tens of thousands of its soldiers on the border with Ukraine, amid fears of war between the two countries.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said that intelligence reports indicate that Russia has amassed more than 94,000 soldiers near his country's borders, and may be preparing for a large-scale military offensive at the end of next January.

Reznikov added - in a speech to the Verkhovna Rada - that his country will not take any provocative action, but is ready to respond if Russia launches an attack on it, stressing that Russia now has 41 military tactical battalions on standby in the Crimea.

He said that "the most likely time to launch an attack will be the end of January," stressing that Russia has begun "military exercises near Ukraine and is testing its communications."

But Moscow denies these allegations, and the Kremlin announced on Friday that Russia and the United States are working to organize a video meeting between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden.

The Kremlin said that an initial date had been set for a video summit between the two presidents, but that Moscow was waiting for final approval from Washington.

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