Diplomatic avenues between Russia and the United States to prevent an invasion of Ukraine remain open. But the first 90 tons of “lethal weapons” from the United States arrived at Kiev’s Boryspil airport on Saturday, given huge suspicions of an imminent Russian attack.
The U.S. embassy said in a statement on its social network: “The first of several shipments of security aid to the Ukrainian armed forces totaling $200 million authorized by President Biden in December arrived at Boryspil Airport in Kiev. ”
The delivery is part of additional military assistance to Kiev in the face of tensions along the border with Russia, where more than 100,000 soldiers surround Kiev, and “Shows firm commitment” The note states that Washington has Ukraine’s right to self-defense.
The first aid to Ukraine that President Biden recently directed arrived in Ukraine tonight.This shipment includes nearly
200,000 pounds of lethal aid, including ammunition for Ukrainian frontline defenders. [1/2] pic.twitter.com/YeYanK0Px6
– US Embassy Kiev (@USEmbassyKyiv) January 22, 2022
there will be more deliveries
The White House pledged to continue to support the Ukrainian military’s “continued efforts” to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of “Russian aggression.”
“As President Biden told President Putin, if Ukraine invades, the United States will provide Kiev with additional defense materials,” the statement said, referring to phone conversations between the U.S. and Russian leaders in late 2021.
U.S. arms arrive in Ukraine just days after U.S. Secretary of State’s visit to Kiev, Anthony BlinkenOn January 19, he pledged to increase military aid to Ukraine in the event of a possible Russian invasion.
“We provided more military aid to Ukraine last year than at any time since 2014,” Blinken said, reiterating that “if Russia continues to invade Ukraine,” Washington will provide additional supplies to Kiev, “beyond what is already underway. middle.”
Washington’s military aid to Kiev last year was valuable, according to the U.S. embassy 650 million Dollar.
Since the outbreak of armed conflict with pro-Russian militias in the east of the country, Kiev has turned to Washington for help in the form of lethal defensive weapons.
Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Oleksi Reznikovon Saturday thanked U.S. and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for his military assistance and “unconditional” support to Kiev in person.
In addition, according to Canadian media reports, the United Kingdom has sent defensive weapons to Kiev, and Canada has also sent a group of special forces.
Balts promises to help
The day before, three Baltic countries — Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia — also expressed their intention to supply Ukraine with U.S.-made weapons after receiving approval from Washington.
“Estonia will provide Javelin anti-tank missiles, while Latvia and Lithuania will provide Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and other equipment to strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities,” the three Baltic countries’ defense ministries said in a statement.
The note expresses the hope of the three republics that Ukraine “does not have to use” the equipment provided and that Russia “stops its aggressive and irresponsible behavior”.
try to downgrade
To ease tensions around Ukraine, Blinken and his Russian counterparts, Sergey Lavrovthey held a meeting yesterday in Geneva where they did not reach any agreement except to maintain diplomacy.
although, Germany blocks shipments from Estonia to Ukraine 122mm howitzers, which were previously stationed on East German territory and later moved to Finland and Estonia. Wall Street Journal.
German Defense Minister, Christine LambertIn response, Berlin will not provide weapons to Kiev for the time being, in line with its policy of banning the delivery of deadly weapons to conflict zones.
“We have to do everything possible to de-escalate the situation,” the German minister explained. “Arms deliveries are not going to help now, the federal government has an agreement on this.”
The Kremlin has previously called the shipment of arms to Ukraine “extremely dangerous” and blamed the current tensions on the border with the neighbouring country on the West.
Although the White House and the Kremlin They keep diplomatic channels open after meeting in Geneva on Fridaythe alarm remains on the point that the United States has taken some steps to prepare for a possible Russian attack on Ukraine.
The U.S. embassy in Ukraine has asked Washington to authorize the evacuation of all non-essential diplomatic personnel and their families over the next few days, multiple sources close to the incident told CNN.
Sources close to the Ukrainian government confirmed that the United States had notified authorities in Kiev that the evacuation “could begin as early as next week,” a decision that caused some discomfort in the Ukrainian government.
In addition, U.S. government officials have begun to consider possible Qatar sends LNG to Europe Sources close to the event inform the agency if supplies are reduced due to hypothetical Russian invasion of Ukraine Bloomberg.
In fact, U.S. President Joe Biden may ask Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Zani to visit the White House at the end of the month in order to discuss the issue among various other topics, according to these sources, in preparation for The culmination of a few weeks of travel.
Some European countries fear that any economic sanctions on Russia — if tensions eventually spill over into open conflict or an invasion — could have an impact on their energy systems, which have been drained by the pandemic-induced crisis.
you have to remember More than 40% of Europe’s natural gas comes from Russiaand a third of Russian gas passes through Ukraine.
In the case of Qatar, it is one of the major producers of LNG. Three-quarters of its production is shipped to energy-starved Asian countries such as Japan or South Korea.It is estimated that only 5% of Qatari gas reaches Europe Bloomberg.
Meet with the Department of Homeland Security
Separately, White House spokeswoman Jane Psaki announced that Joe Biden will meet with his national security team this weekend. Target? Confirm “Next”. Also in attendance was Anthony Blinken, who met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday.
Another piece of news during Psaki’s announcement was that Putin’s meeting with Biden was not impossible. “If this is the recommended step and we think it might work”, then this option will be considered, the spokeswoman said. The two leaders last met face-to-face in June 2021.
The week ahead could be the key to the future of the Ukraine crisis. Blinken promised to send Russia written responses to their demands, with Ukraine’s request not to join NATO in particular.