War escalates. Western countries prepare to evacuate their diplomats in Ukraine, and a four-way meeting with Russia’s participation to discuss the crisis

American and German media reported that the American embassy in Ukraine is asking Washington to agree to the departure of some of its employees and their families, while the German authorities are preparing plans to conduct their diplomats in Kiev, with the escalation of indications that Russia will launch a military attack on its neighbor Ukraine, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked to impose Sanctions now on Russia, before its possible invasion of his country.

CNN reported that the US embassy in Kiev had asked the State Department to allow it to leave non-essential employees of the embassy and their families.

CNN quoted a source close to the Ukrainian government as saying that Washington had told Kiev that it might start deporting some of its embassy employees next week.

And German media reported today that Berlin has prepared plans to evacuate its diplomats from Ukraine if the situation deteriorates.

The British Foreign Office said it was advising its citizens against non-essential travel to Ukraine, “because events are moving quickly”, and its Belgian counterpart stated that it was urging Belgian citizens “not to travel to Ukraine, and called on those there to register at the British Embassy.”

These developments come in light of Russia’s mobilization of thousands of its forces and advanced military equipment near the Ukrainian borders, for the purpose of conducting exercises, while the West and Ukraine fear that Moscow will invade Ukrainian territory soon.

Penalties now

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he supports imposing sanctions on Russia now, before its possible invasion of his country, and stressed that sanctions against Russia will not be important after Ukraine loses all of its territory, in the event that Moscow carries out a military attack that the West fears will happen soon, as Russia mobilized In the past few months tens of thousands of its troops near the border with Ukraine.

Zelensky reiterated his country’s adherence to peaceful solutions, and his rejection of the war in which he said that his country would face one of the world’s most powerful armies, and would lead to heavy losses of lives that could amount to hundreds of thousands on both sides.

In a related context, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba accused today, Saturday, Germany of encouraging Russian President Vladimir Putin, after Berlin refused to deliver weapons to Kiev, which fears an invasion by Russia.

Kuleba added that the German partners should stop undermining the West’s unity towards Russia, and the Ukrainian minister’s statement came after German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said today that the delivery of weapons to Ukraine “will not contribute to defusing the crisis.”

The German position contradicts what the United States, Britain and the Baltic states have done in the past few days to send military aid to Ukraine, including anti-aircraft missiles and anti-tank missiles, in anticipation of a Russian military attack on the country.

The US Embassy in Kiev said today that Washington sent 90 tons of weapons and ammunition in aid to Ukraine, and provided security assistance to Kiev in 2021 with more than 650 million dollars.

Russian accusations

On the other hand, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the United States has been procrastinating in discussing Russia’s proposals for security guarantees, since it was handed over to the American side more than a month ago.

Moscow insists that Washington and NATO provide written guarantees, foremost of which is the non-acceptance of Ukraine’s membership in the alliance, as it considers this a threat to Russian national security.

The Russian Foreign Ministry considered that Washington’s publication of a report on Russian policy toward Ukraine – before the meeting that brought together Russian Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov and American Anthony Blinken in Geneva – a frank provocation.

The US State Department published a report on what it said were seven misleading Russian accounts about Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Ministry accused the United States and Western countries of launching a propaganda campaign, “to portray Russia as an aggressor and an enemy of civilized Europe.”

Quad meetings

In another context, a source in the administration of Russian President Putin said today, Saturday, that political advisers from Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany will hold talks on eastern Ukraine.

The source added that the talks, which are taking place within the so-called “Normandy format”, will be held in Paris next Tuesday.

On the other hand, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu accepted an invitation to meet with his British counterpart Ben Wallace to discuss the crisis on the Russian-Ukrainian border, a source in the British Ministry of Defense announced today, Saturday.

And the Russian Information Agency said today – quoting a diplomatic source – that the British Foreign Secretary Liz Terrace is expected to visit Moscow next February; To hold talks with her Russian counterpart Lavrov.

Relations between the West and Russia are witnessing a decline to the lowest level since the Cold War, due to tension in relations in several international files, most notably the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

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