Biden and his European allies are skeptical of Russia’s promise to reduce its military activity in Ukraine | International


In another demonstration that communication between the allies has been constant since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, the president of the United States, Joe Biden, held a videoconference on Tuesday with the leaders of France, Emmanuel Macron; Germany, Olaf Scholz; Italy, Mario Draghi, and the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson. The call for the five-way talk, which comes days after Biden’s trip to Brussels and Poland, left the White House to analyze the latest progress in the negotiations between kyiv and Moscow, which have shown signs of improvement in the form and some progress in the fund this Tuesday in Istanbul.

At the end of the call between allies, which has lasted for an hour, Biden has been cautious. “We will see. I will not believe anything until I verify that they support it with actions”, he said, referring to Russia’s announcement that it will “drastically” reduce military operations in the kyiv and Chernihiv areas to advance in the resolution of the conflict. Ukraine, for its part, has offered to resign from NATO in exchange for security guarantees on its territory.

Later, the Pentagon spokesman, John Kirby, has assured that they have observed movements of “a small number” of Russian soldiers near kyiv in the “last one or two days”, but has ruled out that it is “a real withdrawal”. ”. They keep an overwhelming majority of their troops [en el terreno]. We believe that we are facing a repositioning, not a true withdrawal. We should all be ready for a big offensive in other areas of Ukraine”, he added. The United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has also moved on the same cautious terrain, declaring that “for a long time” his government has known that “what Russia says and what it does are two different things”. “We, for now, will concentrate on what she does,” he added.

Biden has appeared before the press after his meeting with the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, who has traveled to Washington to discuss the situation in the Indo-Pacific region, in addition to the war in Ukraine, “an unacceptable conflict for any country of the world”, according to the US president. Biden has said that he is determined to continue with “heavy sanctions” and to continue supplying military equipment to the Ukrainian army for its defense. He also clarified that the five leaders have agreed on the need to work on achieving more stable energy markets, capable of withstanding crises such as the one unleashed by the Russian aggression, which has triggered oil prices around the world and has generated concern about the supply of natural gas in Europe, a continent extremely dependent on Russian supplies.

The symbol of Mariupol

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According to a White House statement, the allies also “coincided in their efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the millions affected by the violence, both in Ukraine and in the countries that are receiving its refugees.” And they have underlined the urgency of establishing ways to deliver humanitarian aid to civilians in Mariupol, a city that has become the symbol of the devastation of the war and of the Ukrainian resistance.

On the table was Macron’s initiative to organize a humanitarian operation in the enclave in the southeast of the country, which collided on Tuesday with the refusal of Vladimir Putin. “They don’t meet [las condiciones] right now,” said a source from the Elysée Palace, the French presidential seat, after an hour-long conversation between Macron and the Russian president. The plan of that contemplated a joint operation of France, Turkey and Greece. The condition was a truce in Mariupol that would allow the civilian population to leave the city safely. Putin’s response, according to the Elysee, has affected the Kremlin’s line: that it is Ukraine that hinders humanitarian operations and that it is the armed forces of this country that prevent the civilian population from moving. However, the president “heard the demands” of Macron, and “said that he was going to reflect on them,” added the aforementioned source.

A spokesman for the British Government has abounded after the call with Washington in the idea that the Putin regime must be judged “by its actions, not by its words”. “Putin is raging in Ukraine in an attempt to force the country and its allies to capitulate,” he added. “We must be relentless in our response.” London has assured that the leaders summoned to the call have discussed “the need to work together to reshape the international energy architecture and reduce dependence on Russian hydrocarbons.” Also, that they have agreed that it cannot loosen “Western resolve until the horror inflicted on Ukraine is over.”

Germany, for its part, is committed to maintaining the pressure of sanctions on Russia, according to the foreign ministry spokesman, and to working to “finally allow the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian aid to people in Ukraine and build humanitarian corridors. troops… especially in the city of Mariupol,” the German government said in a statement made public after the call.

Biden’s meeting with the Prime Minister of Singapore has also served, according to the former, to discuss the position of North Korea, which last week reported the launch of the “most powerful” missile in its history (extreme that the United States and Korea of the South question). The second has also taken the opportunity to express his “concern” about the situation in Myanmar, where army troops took power by force on February 1, 2021, causing a crisis (and the resistance of the Burmese) that still remains open. .

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