Russia-Ukraine conflict: The pace of the last few hours before this Saturday interview between Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin

Tensions have risen between Russia and the West in recent hours.

Tens of thousands of Russian soldiers have begun large-scale exercises in Belarus, which borders Ukraine and should theoretically last until February 20.

According to the West, Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine soon, as an exercise, which Moscow rejects.

Russian maneuvers and exercises in Belarus and on the border with Ukraine

Since Thursday, Moscow has announced further training sessions in Ukraine, as Russia carries out major maneuvers in Ukraine’s neighbor Belarus. “battle missions” There are hundreds of soldiers and tanks in Russia’s Rostov border region. In addition, the Russian navy conducts exercises in the Black Sea, where Ukraine also borders.

But this Friday, February 11, the head of the Norwegian military intelligence service confirmed that everything is operationally ready for a wide range of Russian military operations in Ukraine, noting that the decision now rests solely with the Kremlin.

Russians “They have everything they need to carry out everything from a small invasion in the east, small attacks all over Ukraine, possibly an invasion of all Ukraine or some regions, to a full invasion” of the country, Vice Admiral Nils Andreas Stensønes said. “Now it’s up to President Putin in the first place to decide whether he wants to do that.”added.

EU sanctions threaten

Western leaders, including US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron, have promised “quick and tough” sanctions against Moscow should Russia invade Ukraine. They came together today as Europe’s diplomatic efforts to prevent the Russo-Western crisis in this country from turning into war came to an end.

“The Allies are determined to jointly implement urgent and harsh sanctions against Russia in case of further violations of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” he said.After this meeting, the spokesperson for the German chancellor tweeted. “All diplomatic efforts are aimed at persuading Moscow to de-escalate tensions. The aim is to prevent a war in Europe.”

As well as Messrs. The teleconference attended by Biden, Scholz and Macron brought together NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel, as well as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Polish President Andrzej Duda and even the President. . Italian Council Mario Draghi and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told his allies “Fear of Europe’s security”.

“President von der Leyen explained in detail the status of sectoral and individual sanctions in case of a new military attack by Russia against Ukraine. He confirmed that all options are on the table and that the sanctions also concern the financial and energy sectors as the export of high-tech products”He said of his services in a press release.

Washington warns risk of war in Europe is greater than ever

On Thursday, February 10, the US Air Force announced the arrival of B-52 strategic bombers in the UK for “long-plan” maneuvers, while the US Navy announced the presence of four destroyers on the European front to reinforce the American Sixth squadron. Fleet. US President Joe Biden sent 3,000 US troops to Germany, Poland and Romania to reassure NATO’s eastern allies, as Westerners feared Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A day after these announcements, the US military announced the repositioning of a fleet of F-16 fighter jets, usually based in Germany, to Romania, “strengthen regional security” He is in complete tension with Russia over Ukraine. The unspecified number of these F-16s will arrive at the Romanian airbase Fetesti, less than 100 km from the Black Sea, on Friday, and will join the Italian warplanes already deployed there, the US Air Force Command in Europe, a Germany-based company. In the press release, he said: They will be responsible for the protection of NATO airspace, especially in this region close to Crimea, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014.

We continue to see signs of escalation in Russia

Because of the Russian military occupation of Ukraine, marked by a massive airstrike campaign, and “fast attack” one in Kiev “very real possibility” In the coming days, the White House warned and urged Americans to leave the country. “within 24 to 48 hours”. “We continue to see signs of escalation in Russia, including the arrival of new forces on the Ukrainian border,” he said.Jake Sullivan, Joe Biden’s national security adviser, said.

This could be the invasion “intervene whenever you want”He made statements to the press, including before the end of the Beijing Olympics, scheduled for February 20. In the context of these tensions reaching their peak, the Allies have come to a conclusion. “extraordinary level of unity” Jake Sullivan has warned Russia that its influence will “decrease” if it decides to invade Ukraine.

Despite a much more alarming vocabulary, the White House national security adviser declared that the United States did not. “didn’t say” As long as Vladimir Putin makes his final decision. ““We are not saying that a decision has been taken, that the final decision has been made by President Putin,” he said.He was enraged, believing that a way to de-escalate tensions was still possible, especially through diplomacy. “I’m waiting for President Biden to talk to President Putin on the phone, but I have nothing to explain at the moment”told the press

Britain evacuates Norwegian and Israeli citizens

Following advice to American citizens, this Friday, February 11, the Israeli government made the decision. “Evacuating families of diplomats and staff from its embassy in Ukraine” Due to the escalation of Russian-Western tensions around this country. In a statement to Israeli citizens, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also recommended: “avoid traveling to Ukraine for now” and urged its citizens living there to refrain”voltage sockets” because “worsening of the situation”.

Norway has called on its citizens to leave Ukraine immediately, following a similar American decision. “due to a serious and unforeseen circumstance” in the country where tens of thousands of Russian soldiers are assembled. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also urged Norwegians to refrain from all travel or to stay less than 250 km from the Ukrainian border in the Russian zone, as well as all travel to Belarus, except Minsk. These tips come into effect”now”ministry said in a statement.

The Elysée announced this Friday evening that French President Emmanuel Macron will speak with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on Saturday afternoon, about the Westerners’ crisis on the Russia-Ukraine border. “diplomatic tools, dialogue and deterrence”.