Washington states that the conversation between Biden and Putin has not yet yielded any results.Russia was urged to refrain from any further aggression / REUTERS
The Biden administration is pushing EU allies to finalize a package of economic and energy sanctions against Russia in the event of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Bloomberg reports this citing sources.
The urgency is due to the fact that Vladimir Putin showed no signs of withdrawing the thousands of soldiers he sent to the Ukrainian border.
Washington believes that agreeing on specific options for sanctions will send a powerful signal to Putin.
More than a week has passed since the conversation between Biden and Putin, but this did not resolve the tension on the Russian-Ukrainian border. Earlier in an interview with Reuters, this was confirmed by the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov.
According to people familiar with the course of the discussions, restrictive measures are now under consideration with proposals, in particular, from the United States, Britain, Germany, France and Italy.
Escalation possible at the border
The Washington Post, citing the statements of its anonymous sources, wrote that Russia has resumed its military build-up on the border with Ukraine. In addition, videos with echelons of military equipment, in particular tanks and missiles, which are being transported to the southern and western regions of Russia, began to appear on social networks. According to the newspaper, the US and Europe drew attention to this after the completion of the Russian-Belarusian military exercises “West-2021”.
The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine then denied the information spread by The Washington Post that Russia was building up military forces near the Ukrainian border. The data on the movement of Russian troops published in the media were called by the Ministry of Defense “an element of special information and psychological actions, which are, in fact, planned measures within the framework of the movement of troops after the completion of the exercises.”
Later, Politico released fresh satellite photographs , which confirm reports that Russia is again concentrating troops and military equipment on the border with Ukraine.
Subsequently, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kirill Budanov, in an interview with the Military Times, said that Russia had concentrated 92 thousand troops near the border with Ukraine and was preparing for an invasion in late January – early February 2022.
Recently, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced that Russia has deployed 115,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders .
According to the Financial Times, Western intelligence assumes a “high likelihood of destabilization” of Ukraine by Russia this winter.
Moscow denies accusations of preparing an attack on Ukraine and, on the contrary, points to the intensification of NATO forces near the Russian borders.
At a press conference on November 26, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed the opinion that an escalation on the part of Russia on the border by the militants it supports in Donbas could happen any day.