US President Biden said in a speech at the White House on Tuesday that the United States had not yet seen evidence of the withdrawal of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine. Earlier that day, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that some soldiers stationed there would return to their bases, as their military training would be over.
In the same speech, Biden warned that the United States would “gather the world” to resist Russian “aggression” if Russia invaded Ukraine. According to Biden, Russia has now amassed about 150 thousand soldiers on the Ukrainian border.
“Guide is welcome”
The US Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas Greenfield, said on the same day to news hour Evidence of the withdrawal of Russian forces would be welcome. “But we haven’t seen any evidence of that yet,” she said.
Just hours before the Russian announcement, US officials claimed that Russian forces were approaching the border. There is still a large Russian presence on the border, says Thomas Greenfield. “Despite what Russia says about the withdrawal of 10,000 soldiers from Belarus, there are still more than 100,000 on the border and troops are advancing near the border. This is not a lull.”
Tensions have risen on the Ukrainian border in recent weeks. Several countries, including the United States and the Netherlands, called on their citizens last week to leave Ukraine. The US government has warned several times of an imminent invasion.
“We are clear and transparent about what we see,” says Thomas Greenfield. “But at the same time, we still hope that the Russians will withdraw. We will continue to work on a diplomatic solution,” he added.
Russian President Putin spoke today with German Chancellor Schulz. During the press conference that followed, Putin stressed that Russia does not want a war in Europe, and that he wants to talk about Russia’s security requirements. Schulz noted that some of these requirements are worth discussing.
This is also the case in the United States, says Thomas Greenfield. “From the beginning, we have indicated that we are ready to discuss the security concerns of Russia, Ukraine and Europe. But this can only be done in a diplomatic way. It cannot be discussed if Russia continues to escalate the situation and threaten the sovereignty of the Ukrainians.”
“Only President Putin and the Russians themselves know exactly what they are going to do. They have control over whether or not they withdraw. So we hope they will choose diplomacy, not confrontation.”
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