A tough global response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s moves against Ukraine began to emerge on Tuesday as European countries and the United States prepared to impose sanctions and Germany halted a major gas pipeline, but the Russian president remained defiant. The face of global condemnation.
A day after Mr. Putin Recognized two breakaway regions In eastern Ukraine as an independent, two European officials said on Tuesday that Russia had sent troops to the region, but the Russian Foreign Ministry denied doing so so far.
Early Tuesday morning, John Viner, Deputy National Security Adviser to Biden, He said that Russian forces had begun moving into Ukraine, declaring on CNN that “an invasion is an invasion, and that’s what’s going on.”
Frightened Ukrainians boarded buses from separatist regions even as Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, urged his embattled country to “keep calm” in the crisis.
But at the same time, Mr. Zelensky insisted that Ukraine would not give up territory, and it seemed that his defense minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, was preparing his country’s troops for battle.
“We are going to have a difficult trial,” Mr. Reznikov said in a sad letter released by the military. There will be losses. You will have to go through pain and overcome fear and despair.”
However, there was no immediate indication of a major military escalation in eastern Ukraine, and much of the focus on Tuesday was in European capitals, as leaders prepared for what they said would be a harsh sanctions package against Moscow. US and European leaders condemned Putin’s decision on Monday to recognize the breakaway regions, the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics that were created after Russia ignited a separatist war in eastern Ukraine in 2014.
It was the Biden administration on Tuesday morning Discuss the sanctions that should be launched against Mr. Putin, his associates, and the Russian financial system. The United States faces a difficult task, trying to make clear that Mr. Putin’s actions in eastern Ukraine will not go unpunished while leaving open the option of further sanctions if Mr. Putin attacks the rest of the country.
The British government has said it will punish members of Russia’s parliament who voted to recognize the independence of the breakaway regions and put in place legislation to ensure that no British individual or company can do business with Donetsk and Luhansk.
In Moscow, Mr. Putin denied what he described as speculation that Moscow plans to “re-establish the Russian Empire within the borders of the empire”.
“This absolutely does not correspond to reality,” Putin said in televised remarks alongside Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, a former Soviet republic with close ties to Ukraine and Russia.
The day before, Mr. Putin gave a long fiery speech describing Ukraine as part of Russia, describing the government in Kiev as not just a “puppet” of the United States and its leaders solely responsible for any “bloodshed” that might come next. .
“As for those who took power in Kiev and still hold it, we demand that they stop military action immediately,” he said, referring to the Ukrainian capital.
In recent weeks, from 150 to 190 thousand Russian soldiers, according to Western estimates, gradually clamping down on their neighbors, and the United States repeatedly warned that the question about the Russian invasion was not whether it was or not.
Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinkin on Twitter That “Russia’s move to recognize the ‘independence’ of the so-called republics controlled by its proxies is a predictable shame.” He added that he told Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, that the United States condemns these actions “in the strongest possible terms.”
At an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council late Monday, several countries criticized Russia, saying the move amounted to a violation of the UN Charter and an assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty. Although the meeting ended without action, Linda Thomas Greenfield, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said council members had “sent a unified message – that Russia should not start a war”.
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