Thursday, May 19

Biden pledges his full support to Zelensky in the face of Russia’s military harassment


CORRESPONDENT IN MOSCOW

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LakeVirtual Summit of Democracy summoned by the US president, Joe Biden, opens with a hopeful accolade to his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodímir Zelenski, cornered by the enormous Russian military pressure on the border. After his telematic talk on Tuesday with the head of the Kremlin, Vladimir PutinBiden continued contacts with Zelensky yesterday, with the intention of taking new steps towards reducing the war tension on the border between Russia and Ukraine.

If the tone of his talks with Putin was threatening, to dissuade Moscow from the need to avoid further aggressions against Kiev, Zelensky has tried reassure him by promising all kinds of help to stop Russia’s military harassment.

Sources from the Ukrainian Presidency stated that, while the two heads of state spoke, “Russia launched a barrage of hostile rhetoric towards Ukraine and compared the current situation with the most dangerous moment of the Cold War,” the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. She was referred to yesterday by the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Riabkov.

Biden has informed Zelenski of the content of his meeting with Putin and of the harshness with which Washington’s determination to apply the most severe penalties never seen each other, if Russian troops dare to attack Ukraine. The US leader told reporters at the White House on Wednesday that he made it very clear to Putin that “if he invades Ukraine, there will be serious consequences (…) economic consequences such as has never been seen nor have ever been seen” until now.

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It is not yet contemplated to send the Army

According to the CNN channel, such sanctions would isolate Russia economically from the rest of the world, preventing the export of hydrocarbons, blocking all types of financial services, including credits, and disconnecting the universal SWIFT bank transfer system. With the approval of Berlin, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which will supply Russian gas to Germany when it enters service, could also be cut.

What, however, does not yet contemplate Biden is to send his Army to Ukraine to defend it from a possible Russian invasion. “It is not on the table” at the present time, he declared. But it does reinforce the US military system in the Alliance countries closest to Russia. “We would probably have to reinforce our presence in the NATO countries to particularly reassure those on the eastern flank. In addition, I made it clear – to Putin – that we would also provide defensive capabilities to the Ukrainians, ”Biden said.

Meanwhile, the independent investigation group Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT), reported the presence of a “large amount of military equipment”, including “Buk” anti-aircraft launchers on the outskirts of the Russian city of Voronezh, very close to the border. Ukrainian.

Moscow claims no intention of attacking Ukraine

Moscow, for its part, accuses Ukraine of moving “Heavy weaponry” to the Donbass separation line. This has been reported in her usual appearance by the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zajárova, which cites information from the OSCE special observation mission in the area. According to Zajárova, the Ukrainian forces, in addition to large-caliber artillery, are sending “armored vehicles and drones” east.

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In a meeting with foreign diplomats, the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Army, General Valeri Gerasimov, repeated yesterday what Putin told Biden on Tuesday, that Russia has no intention of attacking Ukraine. “The information circulating in the media about a supposedly imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine is a lie,” he said.

However, immediately afterwards, Gerasimov stressed that “any provocation by the Ukrainian authorities to solve the problems in Donbass by force will be repressed.” It therefore means that Russia’s intervention plans depend on whether or not Ukraine intends to take back the rebel Donetsk and Luhansk provinces militarily. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov already warned last week when he recalled what happened to Georgia in 2008 when trying to end the separatist resistance in South Ossetia by force: Moscow sent its Army frustrated the then president’s attempt , Mikhail Saakashvili, and then recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, both enclaves now converted into Russian protectorates.

Russia, outside the Biden Democracy Summit

Such animosity, in the judgment of most Western capitals, coupled with their authoritarian system, is what has placed Russia out of the Biden Democracy Summit. Like China. Eight Ibero-American countries have also been excluded: Cuba, Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Those attending the conclave, however, were around a hundred states.

At the opening of the summit, the US president said that democracy faces “continuing and alarming challenges” across the globe. For Biden, we are faced with a dangerous “tipping point” and he wondered if “the decline in rights and democracy will be allowed to continue rampant.”

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Just yesterday and to counteract the negative image that Russia has not been invited to the meeting on democracy, Putin convened his Presidential Council on Human Rights. He promised that he will be personally interested in connection with some controversial arrests, with the attempts to outlaw the NGO Memorial, with torture in prisons and said that he will review the way in which the maligned law of “foreign agents” affects the media. ».

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