By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said nearly 100,000 Russian soldiers near Ukraine’s border and that Western countries had shared information about active Russian troop movements with Kyiv.
“I hope the whole world can now clearly see who wants peace and who is concentrating nearly 100,000 soldiers at our border,” he said in previous remarks.
Western powers called on Russia to lower tensions with Ukraine and backed Kyiv against any threats from Moscow.
Russia has denied it plans to invade Ukraine, though it already annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and suppers Russian separatists in the east.
President Vladimir Putin said that Russia would only be forced to act if its “red lines” on Ukraine were crossed by the U.S.- led NATO military.
He warned Moscow would view the deployment of certain offensive missile capabilities on Ukrainian soil as a trigger.
Ahead of Tuesday’s virtual talks with his Russian counterpart, President Biden spoke with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the leaders of France, Germany, and Italy about the Russian military buildup.
They agreed to use “all the tools at their disposal” to prevent “aggression,” Moscow says has denied it has a plan to attack Ukraine and accused Western nations of provocation.
In a conference call on Monday night, the Western leaders discussed their “shared concern about the Russian military build-up,” according to the White House.
The five leaders had “reaffirmed their staunch support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” Downing Street said.
The White House said they had formed a joint strategy “to impose significant and severe harm on the Russian economy” should Russia launch an invasion.
Such an invasion would bring back memories in, for instance, neighboring Hungary, which was invaded by Russian forces ending its 1956 Revolution against Soviet domination.
Other Eastern European countries, like Hungary, now NATO members, are also closely following developments.
Several European Union countries have energy deals with Moscow, if they are heavily dependent on Russian natural gas as winter sets in.
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