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US and Russia investigate Ukraine crisis while Blinken visits Kyiv | Stories

The United States and Russia have begun to suspect that Russia is building on the border of Ukraine and that there is no sign of them turning into a threat to Russia and a new war in Europe.

Ahead of the difficult Friday talks between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the two sides appeared to be on the verge of a conflict that could reduce tensions and prevent a threat to the Russian invasion.

Ukraine, meanwhile, said it had planned the worst and would survive any difficulties that might arise.

During a visit to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv on Wednesday, Blinken criticized Russia for planning to strengthen the more than 100,000 troops sent to the Ukrainian border and said the number could double “in a short period of time”.

Blinken did not elaborate, but Russia has sent unknown troops from the east to Belarus, which shares the border with Ukraine, at a major military match next month.

Blinken reiterated Washington’s call for Russia to reduce the crisis by withdrawing its power from the border, which Moscow has vehemently denied.

Blinken said he would not provide a written response to Russia’s views on Lavrov in Geneva but pledged “continuous diplomatic efforts to curb new violence and promote peace and dialogue”.

Meanwhile, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations has stated that Moscow will not back down from its insistence that the US do so prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and reducing its availability and military alliances in Eastern Europe.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow had no intention of invading Ukraine but that what he wanted to do to secure security could not be negotiated.

The US and its allies have said that Russia’s interests are not a priority, that Russia is aware of its existence and that Russian President Vladimir Putin is using them in some other way to make a decision. for the invasion of Ukraine.

The former Soviet republic wants to join the alliance, although it has little hope for the future.

The skepticism left little hope that the Blinken-Lavrov summit, which follows a series of incomplete talks last week, would reduce tensions that have been rising since last year but have intensified in recent weeks with the escalation of the Russian war.

‘Uncontrolled anger’

In Kyiv, Blinken urged Western nations to remain united in the fight against Russian violence. He also reassured the Ukrainian leader of NATO aid when he called on the Ukrainian people to stand firm.

Mr Blinken told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that the US and its allies were committed to supporting his country and its democratic aspirations against Russia’s attempts to provoke divisions and conflicts through “perpetual violence”.

“Our strength lies in maintaining our unity and unity within Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said.

“I think one of the old goals of Moscow was to try to create divisions between our countries, and simply we cannot and will not allow them to do that.”

The Biden government has already said it is providing $ 200m to support military security in Ukraine. Blinken said more aid was coming and would only increase if Russia attacked.

Zelenskyy thanked Blinken for the donation, which was approved in late December but was not confirmed until Wednesday.

“These [military] Aid is not just about our Ukrainian plans for cooperation, but more importantly the level of our troops, our weapons, “he said, referring to Kyiv’s desire to join NATO.

“Your visit is very important,” Zelenskyy said. “It also emphasizes your strong support for our rights and sovereignty.”

From Kyiv, Blinken is planning a short trip to Berlin to negotiate with Germany and other European institutions on Thursday before meeting Lavrov.

Hoda Abdel Hamid of Al Jazeera, from Kyiv, said the villagers he spoke to were “very disappointed with the idea that the escalation of the war should take place soon”.

“They think there’s a lot of talk right now, very dangerous, but you don’t know there is a lot of fear among the people – and anxiety,” Abdel Hamid said.

“You do not realize that there is so much fear in this case. No rush to supermarkets, people going about their business. Moreover, people are confident that this time the Ukrainian ministry is very strong, has received a lot of training, has received a lot of weapons; it’s better than it was in 2014. “

Russia in 2014 overthrew the Crimea Peninsula after the overthrow of a Ukrainian leader who was friendly to Moscow and also attracted the attention of separatist terrorists in eastern Ukraine.

More than 14,000 people have been killed in the nearly eight-year-old war between Russian-backed terrorists and the Ukrainian military at the country’s industrial base, the Donbas.

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