US President Biden during talks with European partners
Photo: HANDOUT / REUTERS
The heads of state and government of the USA and their European allies have called on Russia to take visible steps to de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine. At a video conference on Monday evening, in which Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) also took part, everyone agreed that "further Russian aggression against Ukraine will have very serious consequences," said German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit afterwards. The participants assured Ukraine of their "unreserved support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine".
In addition to US President Joe Biden and Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Polish President Andrzej Duda, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Council President Charles Michel.
All participants agreed that issues of security and stability in Europe must be resolved through negotiations.
They reaffirmed their willingness to continue diplomatic efforts, including through direct talks between Russia and Ukraine mediated by Germany and France in the so-called Normandy Format.
Scholz said before the video switch that the conversation was "a good sign of the close cooperation" between the allies in the conflict.
"The situation is serious, but not just today, but for many, many days, weeks and months." That's why it's important to act as one.
This includes insisting that borders in Europe should not be violated.
»We will not accept that either (...).
That would have high costs,” said Scholz.
Russia has massed more than 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border in recent weeks.
The West therefore fears a major Russian attack on the neighboring country.
Moscow denies any invasion plans.