Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has accepted an invitation to speak with his British counterpart Ben Wallace about the crisis arising from growing fears of an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine, a senior defense official said on Saturday. Defense.
Read also“What is happening now in Ukraine is crucial and will have consequences for decades to come”
Since the last bilateral meeting between our two countries took place in London in 2013, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu offered to meet in Moscow
," said the same source. Happy that "
Russia accepted the invitation to meet with his counterpart
", Ben Wallace "
clearly indicated that he would explore all avenues to achieve stability and a settlement of the Ukrainian crisis
", underlined this senior official, according to which the British side is still "
in communication with the Russian government
" for the practical details of this meeting.
The announcement of this bilateral meeting came the day after the talks in Geneva between the Russian and American foreign ministers, Sergei Lavrov and Antony Blinken, which made it possible to initiate a certain relaxation after several weeks of verbal escalation.
The two men indeed agreed on Friday to continue their “ frank
” talks next week
, giving hope to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that an invasion of Ukraine or a military incursion into its territory “
will not happen
Russia is accused by the West of having massed tens of thousands of soldiers on the Ukrainian border for an attack, now likely according to Washington to occur "
at any time
", while Moscow denies any bellicose intention. The Kremlin, however, links an appeasement of the situation to guarantees, in particular on the non-enlargement of NATO, in particular to Ukraine. A condition deemed unacceptable by the West, who threaten Russia with very strong sanctions in the event of a military operation.
On Friday, UK Foreign Minister Liz Truss warned that a Russian invasion would only lead to a "
terrible quagmire and loss of life
", as during the war of the time of the USSR in Afghanistan and the conflicts in Chechnya, the Kremlin having according to her "
not learned the lessons of history
Moscow has been pressuring Ukraine since an uprising nearly a decade ago toppled a government that had resisted calls to get closer to the West. Russia seized the southern Crimean peninsula in 2014 and a pro-Russian insurgency, which has since claimed more than 13,000 lives, broke out in eastern Ukraine the same year. Following up on that country's calls for Westerners to boost its defense capabilities, the United States, the United Kingdom and the three Baltic states have agreed to deliver military equipment, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.
Germany, on the other hand, refused to follow in their footsteps because it would “
” contribute to defusing the crisis, said its Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht on Saturday. She confined herself to announcing the supply in February of a “
”. A position that aroused the irritation of Kiev. "
Today, Western unity with Russia is more important than ever
" and "
German partners must stop undermining unity with such words and actions and encouraging Vladimir Putin to launch a new attack against Ukraine
,” reacted Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
Read alsoUkraine: the Allies struggle to appear united against Moscow
Despite this context of extreme tensions, the United States said on Saturday that they did not currently plan to organize an evacuation of their nationals from Ukraine, leaving them the choice of leaving by commercial flights.