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Amid a political movement over Ukraine, Russia accuses Washington of escalation and launches military exercises in Crimea

Russia denounced on Tuesday putting thousands of American soldiers on alert over the crisis over Ukraine, and considered it an “escalation of tension” by Washington, and announced the launch of military exercises in the south and Crimea.

“We are watching with great concern these American moves,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, adding that the United States is causing an “escalation of tension”, as it did yesterday with the announcement of the withdrawal of the families of American diplomats from Ukraine due to an imminent danger, according to Washington, represented by a Russian invasion. to its pro-Western neighbour.

And the US Department of Defense (Pentagon) announced yesterday that a force of 8,500 American soldiers had been placed on “high alert” in anticipation of the possibility of its deployment to strengthen any activation of the NATO intervention force in response to the Ukrainian crisis.

On the other hand, Russia has massed 100,000 soldiers near the Ukrainian border, raising fears that it is planning to invade its pro-Western neighbor, and prompting warnings from Western countries.

Military exercises

Meanwhile, Russian news agencies reported that the Russian armed forces launched on Tuesday a new series of maneuvers near Ukraine and in the Crimea, which it annexed, with exercises involving 6,000 personnel, combat aircraft and bombers.

The agencies quoted the commander of the Russian forces in southern Russia, Alexander Dvornikov, as saying that it is a “joint” operation that includes, in particular, “the air force, anti-aircraft forces and the ships of the Black Sea and Caspian Fleets.”

According to the TASS news agency, the Air Force exercises include 60 fighters and bombers in 4 regions, especially the Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014 in response to a pro-Western revolution in Ukraine.

new aid

On the other hand, Ukraine will receive today new aid from the United States, including “equipment and ammunition to strengthen the Ukrainian armed forces,” according to the US embassy.

The embassy indicated that this assistance is part of the $200 million in aid that the White House recently granted to Kiev.

For its part, NATO announced that its countries are preparing to put reserve forces on alert, and that they have sent ships and fighters to strengthen their defenses in Eastern Europe against Russian military activities on the borders of Ukraine.

political moves

On the political front, French President Emmanuel Macron said he wanted to propose a “de-escalation path” to Russian President Vladimir Putin “in the coming days”.

The Kremlin said in a statement that Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold talks this week with his French counterparts Emmanuel Macron and Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss developments in the situation between Kiev and Moscow.

Macron is also holding consultations with German Chancellor Olaf Schulz, described by the French presidency as a coordination to prepare for the four-way meeting between advisers from Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France.

On Wednesday, Paris will also receive a meeting of high-level advisers with Germany, Russia and Ukraine; In an attempt to revive the dialogue that dates back to 2015 and is now frozen.

The meeting will discuss the implementation of the Minsk agreement according to the Normandy formula, which provides for stopping the war between the Ukrainian army and separatists, exchanging prisoners, withdrawing heavy weapons from eastern Ukraine, and carrying out constitutional reforms that give eastern Ukraine expanded autonomy.

In turn, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said today, Tuesday, that she will visit Ukraine next week, and issued a new warning to Russia that any invasion of Ukrainian lands will have a heavy economic cost.

For her part, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Ambassador Linda Greenfield, said that Russia’s actions towards Ukraine “strike at the heart of the UN Charter,” stressing that diplomacy is the solution to the crisis erupting between Moscow and Kiev.

This came in a statement after her meeting with her Ukrainian counterpart, Sergey Kiseltsya, late yesterday evening in New York.

The two ambassadors agreed – according to the statement – that a positive sign of Russia’s commitment to diplomacy would be “through the immediate withdrawal of the build-up of Russian forces near the borders of Ukraine, including in Belarus.”

sanctions

The United States has confirmed that there are “no differences” with the Europeans over the sanctions that will be imposed on Russia in the event of an invasion of Ukraine, nor on the issue of the seriousness of the threat.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson once again threatened Russia with unprecedented Western sanctions if it invaded Ukraine.

And the French press agency quoted a European source as saying that among the measures that could be imposed on Russia is to reduce purchases of gas and oil, which constitute 43% and 20% of the European Union’s supplies, but this issue raises division among the Europeans.

On the American side, Biden intends to prevent Russian banks from using the dollar, which could deal a very severe blow to Russia’s economy.

criminal group

Meanwhile, Ukraine announced today that it has dismantled a criminal group operating under the command of Moscow and was preparing armed attacks to “destabilize” the country.

“The two leaders of the group were preparing for a series of armed attacks on infrastructure,” the Ukrainian security service said in a statement, stressing that the group was “coordinated” by “Russian special services.”

The agency stated that the two commanders – one of whom is Russian – were arrested, and “explosives, light weapons and ammunition were seized.”

A source in the Ukrainian security forces confirmed that the two men were former members of the commando teams who participated in battles.



Reference-www.aljazeera.net

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