Leave As Invasion Could Come Any Time


WASHINGTON/MOSCOW: Americans in Ukraine ought to go away inside 48 hours as Russia may assault at any time, possible with an air assault, the White House stated on Friday as Moscow accused Western nations of mendacity to distract from their very own aggressive acts.

The Kremlin, jostling for affect in post-Cold War Europe, rejected a joint Western diplomatic response as disrespectful.

It needs safety ensures together with a promise of no missile deployments close to its borders, that Kyiv by no means joins NATO and a scaling army again of the alliance’s infrastructure.

The West describes Russia’s predominant calls for as “non-starters” however is prepared to speak about arms management and confidence-building steps as President Joe Biden’s administration stated Moscow has greater than 100,000 troops massed on the border, sufficient to invade.

“The risk is now high enough and the threat is now immediate enough,” White House nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan informed reporters.

“If a Russian attack on Ukraine proceeds, it is likely to begin with aerial bombing and missile attacks that could obviously kill civilians without regard to their nationality.”

US intelligence believes a fast assault on Kyiv was additionally potential and that Russian President Vladimir Putin may order an invasion earlier than the Winter Olympics finish on Feb. 20, Sullivan stated, including it stays unclear whether or not such a command has been given.

After Sullivan’s briefing, Russia’s Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy appeared to mock the feedback:

“Some reasonable people were hoping US-fanned hysteria was waning,” he posted on Twitter. “Maybe they put a jinx on it, because scaremongers have clearly got second wind. Our troops are still on our territory and I wonder if the US will invade Ukraine itself – someone has to, after such a panic campaign.”

Putin and Biden will speak by phone on Saturday, the White House and Russian media said. Russia’s TASS news agency said Putin will speak with French President Emmanuel Macron on the same day.

The EU and NATO alliance delivered a joint reply to Russia this week on behalf of their member states as diplomatic efforts continue to try to diffuse the crisis.

Russia on Friday said it expected individual answers from each country, and called the collective response “a sign of diplomatic impoliteness and disrespect”.

It later said that Western countries, with help from the media, were spreading false information about its intentions to try to distract attention from their own aggressive actions.

‘MASSIVE CONSEQUENCES’

Washington will send 3,000 extra troops to Poland in coming days to try and help reassure NATO allies, four US officials told Reuters. They are in addition to 8,500 already on alert for deployment to Europe if needed.

Earlier, commercial satellite images from a US firm showed new Russian military deployments at several sites near the border.

Biden told NBC News on Thursday that things in Ukraine “could go crazy quickly,” and on Friday held a call about the crisis with the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Poland and Romania, as well as the heads of NATO and the EU.

The leaders agreed to make coordinated efforts to deter Russian aggression, including by being ready to impose “massive consequences and severe economic costs” if it chose military escalation, the White House said after the call.

Britain, Japan, Latvia, Norway and the Netherlands also told their citizens to leave Ukraine immediately. Israel said it was evacuating relatives of embassy staff.

US officials believe the crisis could be reaching a critical point, with rhetoric from Moscow hardening, six Russian warships reaching the Black Sea, and more Russian military equipment arriving in Belarus.

“We continue to see very troubling signs of Russian escalation, including new forces arriving at the Ukrainian border,” stated Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Stocks prolonged declines within the late afternoon, with the S&P 500 index not too long ago down round 1.9%. Gold and oil costs rose. The rouble fell to its lowest stage in opposition to the greenback since March 2020.

Moscow denies planning to invade Ukraine, however says it may take unspecified “military-technical” action if its demands are not met. This week it launched joint military exercises in neighboring Belarus and naval drills in the Black Sea.

Diplomatic efforts have so far failed to yield results.

Four-way talks in Berlin between Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France on Thursday made no progress.

Russia openly mocked British foreign minister Liz Truss when she visited on Thursday and there was no breakthrough after talks between Putin and Macron earlier in the week.

“I’m not going to speculate as to (Putin’s) motivations, his intentions, or, at this point, his decisions,” stated Sullivan. “All I’ll say is that we’re prepared both means.”

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