US President Joe Biden is overseeing an emergency meeting of the National Security Council today, Sunday, that will discuss intelligence that a large-scale Russian attack on Ukraine, and while Moscow denied the validity of this information, Western leaders continue to threaten Russia with harsh sanctions.
Hours before the US National Security Council meeting, US Vice President Kamala Harris said on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in Germany that there is a belief that Russian President Vladimir Putin has actually ordered the start of a massive attack on Ukraine.
Harris added that Ukraine is surrounded by Russian forces, and that its President Volodymyr Zelensky does not stand alone, noting that Washington will re-evaluate the crisis through what will be nominated in the coming days.
She also said that the talk is about a war in Europe, explaining that her country is taking specific and appropriate steps to mitigate the economic impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine if it occurs.
And she added that the goal of the sanctions set by the United States and its allies is to deter Russia, stressing that it will be the largest and harshest, targeting financial companies and Russian individuals.
On the issue of Ukraine's accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the US Vice President said that no country can become a member of the NIAO from one night to another, and that no country can dictate its desire to another country to join the alliance.
Discussions about the Russian offensive
Earlier, The Washington Post revealed that discussions within the Biden administration will address intelligence indicating that Russian President Vladimir Putin has given the order to start a large-scale attack on Ukraine.
The newspaper quoted European officials as saying that the American information was based on orders that Putin had issued to military and security leaders, and they had already started implementing them.
As I quoted them, Washington did not share with Europe intelligence information about the Russian president's decision to invade.
US President Joe Biden has said he is convinced Russia will attack Ukraine.
Russia denies intelligence leaks
On the other hand, the Russian presidency (the Kremlin) said today that the West's repeated talk of dates for a Russian invasion of Ukraine is a provocation that exacerbates the escalation and may lead to devastating consequences, as he put it.
The Kremlin added that Western partners should know that Russia is the last country that wants to utter the word war, warning that the escalation of tension in the Donbass region (eastern Ukraine) has reached the limit, and that any spark or a simple planned provocation there could lead to consequences. can not be repaired.
The Russian presidency called on the West to resort to reason, and denounced its failure to issue any statement calling on Kiev to exercise restraint.
For his part, Dmitry Polyansky, First Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations, said that US and British intelligence assessments on Ukraine could not be trusted, adding that many mistakes had already been made in Iraq, as he put it.
Polyansky added that no one can dictate to Russia when or where to carry out its military exercises.
Johnson said that intelligence shows that during a possible invasion Russia intends to encircle the Ukrainian capital (Reuters)
The biggest war in Europe
In turn, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Russia was planning the largest war in Europe since 1945, and called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to undo potential military action against Ukraine.
In an interview with the BBC, Johnson said the evidence suggested Putin was planning his big war in Europe.
He added that intelligence shows that Russia intends to launch an invasion that will encircle the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, and that the plan to do so has already begun in some respects.
The British Prime Minister considered that the sanctions may not be enough to deter Putin, and demanded a list of far-reaching sanctions on Russia that exceed what was previously proposed, noting that London and Washington would stop Russian companies from dealing in the pound sterling and the US dollar.
In this context, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said that any invasion of Ukraine would incur heavy costs for Russia.
security system in europe
In the context of Western attitudes towards the Russian military build-up around Ukraine, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that Russia is trying to redefine the European security system.
During a speech before the Munich Security Conference, Borrell called for the need to confront the Russian and Chinese policy aimed at restoring the glories of the past, as he put it.
For his part, European Council President Charles Michel threatened Russia with harsh and urgent sanctions if it invaded Ukraine.
During a speech at the Munich Security Forum, Michel said that Russia had repudiated attempts to resolve the crisis through diplomatic means, and continued to build up its forces on the border with Ukraine.
Diplomatically also, the French presidency said that President Emmanuel Akron spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart Zelensky after his phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Impose sanctions now
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Sunday that it is time for the West to impose at least part of the sanctions it has prepared against Russia.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov also said that Russia's goal is not only Ukraine, but also to frighten the world.
And Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said yesterday in Munich that the West should from now impose the sanctions it threatens against Russia, because imposing them after the supposed Russian invasion of his country will not work.Keywords: