Ukraine Demands Sanctions Against Russia, UK Says Putin Plans to Encircle Kyiv: 10 Points

A helicopter flies over troops during the joint military drills between Russia and Belarus. (Reuters)

Ukraine has demanded sanctions against Russia by the European Union to show it is serious about wanting to prevent a war. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, meanwhile, said Russia is planning “the biggest war in Europe since 1945”.

Here are the latest developments on Russia-Ukraine crisis:

  1. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who arrived in Brussels to meet EU leaders, said, “There are plenty of decisions the European Union can make now to send clear messages to Russia that its escalation will not be tolerated and Ukraine will not be left on its own.”

  2. But the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell appeared to reject the idea of immediate sanctions, saying he still saw room for diplomacy. Speaking shortly before Kuleba, Borrell told reporters he would convene an extraordinary EU meeting to agree sanctions “when the moment comes”.

  3. The comments were made hours after France proposed a summit between US President Joe Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin as a “diplomatic hope” to resolve the crisis between over Moscow’s troop build-up along the border.

  4. The White House said Biden had in principle agreed to a meeting with Putin, so long as Moscow does not invade Ukraine, following talks French president Emmanuel Macron held with both leaders on Sunday.

  5. However, the Kremlin said that it was too early to organise a summit between Putin and Biden. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that there are “no concrete plans in place” for a presidential summit. “A meeting is possible if the heads of state consider it appropriate,” he added.

  6. Western countries fear a build-up of Russian troops near Ukraine in recent weeks is a prelude to an invasion and say this would trigger “massive” sanctions against Moscow. Russia denies any plans to invade but wants sweeping security guarantees.

  7. Earlier, speaking to the BBC, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there are intelligence inputs that suggest that Russia intends to launch an invasion that will encircle Ukrainian capital Kyiv. “People need to understand the sheer cost in human life that could entail,” he said after the Munich Security Conference.

  8. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was expected to speak by telephone with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian later on Monday ahead of scheduled talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday.

  9. Tensions between Moscow and the West have been growing for weeks over a feared Russian attack on Ukraine and a large build-up of Moscow’s troops around Ukrainian borders. Western intelligence agencies claim that around 1.6 lakh Russian troops are ready to attack Ukraine.

  10. Leaders of separatist-controlled regions in eastern Ukraine ordered civilians to leave for Russia last week, citing what they said was an escalation in tensions on the front line with Ukraine’s army.

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