While Joe Biden and Vladimir Poutin will speak to each other this Tuesday by videoconference, the specter of a serious diplomatic crisis is approaching in the Ukrainian file. In view of the “tensions between Russia and Ukraine”, the leaders of Germany, the United States, France, Italy and the United Kingdom have thus “expressed their determination that the sovereignty “of Ukraine” be respected, “said the Elysee on Monday.
Russia being accused of preparing an attack on its neighbor, Emmanuel Macron and the four other heads of state and government also “expressed their commitment to act to maintain peace and security in Europe”, added the French presidency to the outcome of a phone call between the five leaders. According to the Elysee, they all recalled the need for Russia to re-engage in negotiations with Ukraine, within the framework of the so-called “Normandy” group, under the aegis of France and Germany.
The pressure is therefore mounting on Putin before his exchange with Biden. The White House even issued a warning in Moscow on Monday that the United States, in addition to taking economic sanctions, is ready to increase its military presence in Eastern Europe if an attack on Ukraine occurs.
Sign of the peak of tension, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also went to the front line with pro-Russian separatists in the east of his country on Monday. A senior US official also told the Washington Post Friday that Russia was preparing to launch an offensive in early 2022 involving up to 175,000 men. Moscow has however several times denied any bellicose tendency and accused Western countries of increasing “provocations”.