Joe Biden doesn’t want to send troops but hones his economic weapons, Moscow maneuvers: our Tuesday follow-up on the Ukraine crisis

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The essential

Russia has launched military maneuvers in the South and in Crimea. This is a new stage in a war of nerves between Russia, Ukraine and the NATO countries, after the consultation last night between the American president and his allies of the Atlantic Alliance, by videoconference.


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Without warning their European allies, Washington and London announced yesterday to recall the families of their diplomats stationed in Ukraine as well as part of their staff, a Russian invasion could occur “at any time”.

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Our Monday follow-up on the Ukraine crisis:

[23h15] Joe Biden will receive the Emir of Qatar on January 31

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Joe Biden will receive the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, at the White House on January 31, his spokeswoman Jen Psaki announced. During their meeting, it will be a question in particular of “ensuring the stability of the international energy supply”, she specified in a press release, at a time when Washington and the Europeans are looking for alternatives if ever Russian gas comes. to be missed, in the event of an attack by Russia against Ukraine.

The Gulf emirate has huge gas reserves and is the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG, or LNG for the acronym in English).

[22h40] The United States promises a response to Belarus

The United States warned Belarus on Tuesday that it risked a “rapid” and “firm” response if it allowed Russia to use its territory to attack Ukraine.

“In the same way that we made it clear to Russia that it would pay dearly” for a possible invasion, “in recent days, we have also made it clear to Belarus that if it allows the use of its territory for an attack against Ukraine, he would suffer a rapid and firm response from the United States and our allies, “warned the spokesman for American diplomacy Ned Price to the press.

“If an invasion were to start from Belarus, if Russian soldiers were to be stationed permanently on its territory, NATO could also review its posture in the countries bordering Belarus,” he further warned. .

[21h30] Oil benefits from the crisis

Oil prices rose again on Tuesday, supported by the latest developments in the Ukrainian crisis, which came on top of a market already worried about insufficient supply.

The price of a barrel of Brent from the North Sea for delivery in March, the most traded contract in London, gained 2.23% to end at 88.20 dollars. In New York, the barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), also due in March, took him 2.74% to close at 85.60 dollars.

[20h45] Joe Biden has ‘no intention’ of sending troops to Ukraine

US President Joe Biden has said he has “no intention” of sending US or NATO troops to Ukraine, while believing that a Russian invasion would have “enormous consequences” and “ would change the world”.

“We have no intention of deploying American or NATO forces in Ukraine,” he told reporters accompanying him during a visit to a small business in Washington, shortly after the United States has placed 8,500 soldiers on alert to strengthen the Western military alliance.

The American president, however, reiterated that Russia would expose itself to “significant” economic sanctions in the event of an attack, going as far as measures that could personally target its President Vladimir Putin.

[19h40] “The response will be there”, warns Emmanuel Macron

“If there were to be an aggression” from Russia against Ukraine, “the response will be there and the cost will be very high”, warned Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin. “We are preparing the common reaction and the response in the event of aggression in parallel”, underlined the French president, after having affirmed that the Westerners were “totally united” and repeated their common call for de-escalation.

Emmanuel Macron has also announced that he will have a telephone interview with Vladimir Putin on Friday.

[18h30] ‘Putin has already shot himself in the foot,’ says Ukrainian foreign minister

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba spoke about the crisis affecting his country. In an interview with the American media CNN, the politician affirms his determination, assuring that Ukraine will not accept any compromise, despite the threat of a Russian attack. “If anyone makes a concession on Ukraine behind our backs, we won’t accept it. We will not be in the position of a country that picks up the phone, hears the great power’s instruction and follows it. No. We paid a lot, including 50,000 lives of Ukrainian citizens, to secure the right to decide the future of our country,” he said.

On the risky declaration of Joe Biden, who had mentioned the possibility of a “minor incursion” by Russian troops without a strong reaction from Western partners, Dmytro Kuleba said he was confident. “President Joe Biden is personally committed to Ukraine. He knows this country, and he doesn’t want Russia to destroy it,” he said. The Ukrainian minister prefers to target the Russian enemy. “Whatever President Putin does in the coming weeks, he has already shot himself in the foot. Today, his only leverage to change the situation in Ukraine in his favor is to amass 100,000 troops along the border and launch cyber attacks. This fact speaks for itself.”

[16h40] The European Union fears the Russian trap of Donbass

More than a Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Europeans fear that Kiev will fall into the trap of an armed confrontation in the Donbass region, triggered by a provocation by pro-Russian separatists. The EU has warned Moscow of its determination to sanction it.

“No one knows if (Russian President Vladimir) Putin has made the decision to intervene and what will be the trigger, but the maximum alert has been launched until the end of February,” a European official said on Tuesday. Moscow has positioned more than 100,000 combat troops, tanks and artillery on the borders of Ukraine and in Crimea, annexed in 2014, where naval air maneuvers began on Tuesday.

[16h10] Technology, gas, finance: Washington prepares its economic weapons

The United States has detailed its economic response, which it promises “massive”, in the event of an attack by Russia against Ukraine, while saying it is ready to compensate, at least in part, for a possible drying up of deliveries of Russian gas in Europe. “We are ready to impose sanctions with massive consequences, which we did not envisage in 2014”, when Moscow annexed Crimea, said a senior official of the White House, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It is no longer a question of a graduated response. This time we will start at the top of the ladder (sanctions) and we will stay there, ”he threatened.

The United States plans, according to this source, to prohibit the export towards Russia of American technology and “potentially of certain products manufactured abroad which fall under the blow of the American regulations”. “The export control options we are considering with our allies would be a serious blow to Vladimir Putin’s ambitions to industrialize his economy,” the senior official said. He also assured that Russia would be hit by heavy financial sanctions, and assured that in this area, there was “encouraging convergence” with the Europeans. Joe Biden has already made it known that he is considering banning Russian banks from transactions in dollars, the queen currency of international trade.

The United States and the Europeans have also taken steps to protect Europe’s natural gas supplies if ever Russia decides, in the event of an open conflict, to turn off the tap. The senior White House official warned Moscow against any “instrumentalization” of its hydrocarbon sales: Russia “needs gas and oil revenues at least as much as Europe needs its oil supplies. ‘energy”.

[14h50] Boris Johnson promises unprecedented Western sanctions in the event of an “attack”

Western leaders have agreed to respond with one voice to a possible “attack” on Ukraine by Russia, by imposing sanctions on Moscow of unprecedented severity, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday.


“We have agreed to respond to any attack by Ukraine in unison by imposing severe coordinated and economic sanctions, heavier than we have ever decided before against Russia,” said Boris Johnson, briefing British MPs following a Monday evening videoconference between the United States and its European allies.

[14h30] Moscow accuses Washington of escalation and launches new maneuvers

Russia launched new military maneuvers near Ukraine and in annexed Crimea on Tuesday, hours after accusing the United States of “exacerbating” tensions by putting thousands of American soldiers on alert. Russians and Westerners have continued in recent weeks to accuse each other of fueling the crisis, at the risk of provoking a major conflict. Diplomatic efforts continue, however, even if the results are lacking.

The Russian exercises announced on Tuesday involve some 6,000 troops, fighter jets and bombers. They are taking place in southern Russia, particularly near Ukraine, and in Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula annexed in 2014. Moscow, which has deployed tens of thousands of men in recent months near Ukraine, has also announced last week naval maneuvers in the Atlantic, the Arctic, the Pacific and the Mediterranean as well as joint exercises with Belarus, on the borders of the European Union.

At midday on Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he was “greatly concerned” after the United States put 8,500 soldiers on Monday alert, who could reinforce the rapid reaction force of the of 40,000 soldiers. The decision to deploy them has not been taken.

For Dmitri Peskov, Washington is causing a new “exacerbation of tensions”, as the day before with the announcement of the departure of the families of American diplomats from Ukraine because of the imminent risk, according to the United States, of a Russian invasion. Kiev, for its part, must receive a new delivery from the United States on Tuesday including “equipment and ammunition”, according to the American embassy, ​​specifying that it was part of the 200 million dollars of assistance granted by the White House.

[13h00] Poland’s concern and disappointment

This morning Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki harshly criticized Germany’s attitude towards the risk of Russian intervention in Ukraine, evoking on Facebook his “concern”, his “great disappointment” and a “dark scenario”, implicitly reproaching Germany to think first of its “economic and energy interests”.

The blocking of Germany’s agreement for the supply by Estonia of arms to a State which is preparing to defend itself against an aggressor constitutes “a great disappointment”, writes Mateusz Morawiecki. Germany has still not given its agreement to Estonia so that it can deliver German howitzers to Ukraine.

Source From: Google News

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