Ukraine conflict: Scholes and Putin want to talk on the phone – politics

President Olaf Scholes (SPD) wants to recall Russian President Vladimir Putin because of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit announced that the talks in Berlin would take place later in the afternoon. The dialogue was closely coordinated with French President Emmanuel Macron and revolved around a possible summit with Putin and US President Joe Biden. The initiative came from Macron, who called on Putin twice and Pita once on Sunday.

The federal government welcomes the offer of a face-to-face meeting with Biden Putin, Hepstreet said. It is hoped that the Russian side will accept this offer. It will now be important to begin the necessary preparations for such a summit to take place as soon as possible.

Biden agreed to the meeting on “policy” on the condition that there would be no Russian invasion of Ukraine, the US presidency confirmed. The meeting is scheduled for February 24. “We are always ready for diplomacy,” said Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary. “But if Russia decides to go to war instead, we are prepared to take immediate and drastic consequences.”

The Kremlin was basically open to the summit with Pita. “Of course we will not rule it out,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, according to the Interfox news agency. Putin and Pita can decide to meet in person or on the phone at any time. “So far there are no definite plans to do so.” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov will consult with each other this Monday. This was stated by Le Trian on Twitter. (21.02.2022)

Putin convenes National Security Council

Russian President Vladimir Putin has convened the National Security Council in view of the fighting in eastern Ukraine. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, according to the Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Peskow described the situation in the conflict zone as “very tense”. “So far we have not seen any signs of relaxation.” When asked by pro-Russian separatists there whether Russia would intervene directly in the Donbass, Peskov did not respond.

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The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has called for a special session this Monday. OSCE has long sought to mediate the conflict. So far, however, Russia has vehemently rejected this and has recently stopped attending several meetings. (21.02.2022)

EU foreign ministers have agreed to provide billions in aid to Ukraine

EU foreign ministers have approved billions in emergency financial aid to Ukraine. At a meeting in Brussels, they decided to lend another 1.2 billion euros to the country threatened by Russia. To be paid in two installments. The proposal came from the European Commission.

This assistance was quickly monitored in just 21 days to ensure the economic and financial stability of Ukraine. “Current security threats have already triggered a significant outflow of capital,” the EU said. Due to increasing geopolitical uncertainty, Ukraine is losing access to international capital markets.

According to the EU Commission, the EU and its financial institutions have provided more than 17 billion euros in loans and grants to Ukraine since 2014. (21.02.2022)

Belarusian military leader: Withdrawal of Russian troops depends on NATO withdrawal

According to the government in Minsk, the withdrawal of Russian troops from Belarus will depend on the withdrawal of NATO troops from areas close to the borders with Belarus and Russia. “Russian soldiers will return to their bases only if there is an objective need, and we decide that,” says Belarusian military chief Viktor Kulevich. “It does not depend on our Western counterparts. The presence of troops and equipment in Eastern Europe – near Belarus – is one of the factors influencing the development of the situation.”

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Belarus is bordered by NATO members Poland, Latvia and Lithuania and in the south by Ukraine. Kulevich’s comments suggest the possibility of Russian soldiers staying in Belarus permanently. The joint exercises between Belarus and Russia were due to end on Sunday, but were extended citing military operations near the two countries. (21.02.2022)

US: Assassinations and kidnappings during the Russian invasion of Ukraine

The United States has said it has information on serious human rights abuses if Russia invades Ukraine. “In particular, we have credible information that the Russian armed forces are compiling a list of identified Ukrainians killed or being sent to camps following the military occupation,” US Ambassador to the UN Bathsheba Nell Crocker wrote to a UN human rights official in Geneva. Michael Bachelet. The letter is available from a German newspaper.

It also said the United States had intelligence that “Russian forces could use dangerous means to disperse peaceful protests.” The United States therefore fears that torture will be used in “previous Russian operations.” Anti-Russian protesters will be targeted “including Russian and Belarusian protesters, journalists and anti-corruption activists and vulnerable people such as religious and ethnic minorities and LGBTQI + people deported to Ukraine.” Abbreviation refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, inter and queer individuals and is a plus sign for other identities. The United States has not released a source for the information.

According to media reports, the US government has received intelligence that Moscow has ordered its military to pursue plans to invade Ukraine. In the West, there are fears that Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin could use the fighting between Ukrainian government forces and separatist “People’s Republican” forces in Donbass as an excuse to invade a neighboring country. Russia has amassed about 150,000 troops on the border, according to the United States. However, Moscow has been denying plans for the attack for several weeks. (21.02.2022)

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Van der Leyon outlines possible obstacles

European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen underscored the West’s threat that Russia would face “massive consequences” if it attacked Ukraine. In an interview with the ARD program “Anne Will” he said of the planned sanctions: “For the Kremlin, sanctions mean that Russia will be cut off from international funds if it launches a military occupation against Ukraine. Markets.”

Sanctions “affect all the goods that are urgently needed to modernize and diversify Russia’s economy, but they are manufactured by us, where we have global dominance and cannot be changed by Russia”. Russia has a clear weakness, and that is its economy.

Referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Van der Leyen said: “It is not easy for him to explain to his people why he is attacking Ukraine and why he is opening his eyes and accepting this massive impact on Russia.” According to Western sources, Russia has amassed about 150,000 troops on the border with neighboring Ukraine, but denies any offensive plans. (20.02.2022)

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