The French president to meet Russia’s Putin on Monday and Ukraine’s Zelenskyy a day later in a bid to defuse tensions.
French President Emmanuel Macron will meet Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday in a bid to avert a feared Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The French leader has said he is aiming for “dialogue with Russia and de-escalation” from the talks, which are scheduled to begin at 14:00 GMT.
Macron’s effort is the highest-profile intervention yet by a Western leader to defuse tensions; he will visit Kyiv for talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday.
The concentration of an estimated 100,000 Russian soldiers and military equipment near the Ukraine border has fueled Western fears that Moscow may be planning an attack. Russia denies it is preparing for an invasion and has accused the United States-led NATO military alliance of undermining the region’s security.
It wants NATO to bar Ukraine and other ex-Soviet nations from membership and roll back forces from Eastern Europe. Washington and NATO have rejected demands as non-starters.
Here are the latest updates:
Russia links US nuclear arms talks to security demands: Report
The fate of nuclear arms controls talks between Russia and the US will to a large extent depend on how negotiations on Moscow’s security demands progress, a senior Russian diplomat has been quoted as saying.
Vladimir Yermakov, head of nuclear non-proliferation and controls at Russia’s foreign ministry, told RIA Novosti news agency that discussions over the Kremlin’s proposals have taken priority over strategic arms controls talks.
No meetings have been agreed on the latter, and their resumption now depends largely on resolving the immediate security issues raised by Moscow, he said.
Top Biden aide says Ukraine invasion could come ‘any day’
US NSA Jake Sullivan has said Russia could invade Ukraine “any day”.
“It could happen as soon as tomorrow or it could take some weeks yet,” he warned on Sunday.
“If war breaks out, it will come at an enormous human cost to Ukraine, but we believe that based on our preparations and our response, it will come at a strategic cost to Russia as well,” Sullivan added.
Ukraine says don’t believe ‘apocalyptic predictions’ over Russia
Ukraine has dismissed “apocalyptic predictions” of a possibly imminent full-scale invasion by Russia after US officials said Moscow had assembled 70 percent of the military forces needed for such a move.
“Do not believe the apocalyptic predictions. Different capitals have different scenarios, but Ukraine is ready for any development, ”Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted on Sunday.
Read more here.
Australian PM reiterates call for citizens to leave Ukraine
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said he is “highly concerned” about the crisis and has reiterated his government’s call for Australians to leave Ukraine.
Morrison told reporters in Canberra that consular officials have been working for weeks to convey the message to those who remain in Ukraine that “it is time to leave if you wish to leave.”
He also called on Russia to continue discussions to resolve the situation.