Russia: US President Biden calls Ukrainian President; undertakes to support its sovereignty and territorial integrity

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy to reaffirm his commitment to his country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as his administration mounted a global pressure campaign against Russia to prevent it to invade Ukraine.
“President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. President Biden reaffirmed that the United States, along with its allies and partners, stands ready to respond decisively if Russia continues to invade Ukraine. It also underscored the United States’ commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the White House said in a reading of the appeal.
The leaders discussed coordinated diplomatic efforts on European security, stressing the principle of “nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine,” the White House said.
During the call, Biden relayed U.S. support for Normandy Format conflict resolution efforts, expressing hope that the parties’ January 26 re-engagement under the terms of the July 2020 ceasefire will help reduce tensions and advance the implementation of the Minsk agreements. .
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the United States had seen preparations and a buildup at the border and an invasion could come at any time. “Our assessment has not changed since that time,” she said.
A day earlier, the United States and NATO both separately delivered their responses to Russia, which a senior State Department official said he believes the responses offer a real opportunity for improved security. in the Euro-Atlantic area if Moscow chooses the path of diplomacy rather than that of conflict or sabotage.
“We and our NATO allies and partners have long been concerned about many of the same issues that Russia has raised. And we have long wanted serious discussions about these things, including intermediate and short-range nuclear weapons that can reach the territory of our allies, and the need for more transparency and risk reduction measures, and rules of updated and reciprocal conduct for military exercises,” Assistant Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland told reporters at a press conference.
“We, too, are concerned about arms and military activities around Ukraine, including in Donbass and occupied Crimea. Between the United States and Russia, between NATO and Russia, and within the OSCE, we have already solved very difficult security and arms control problems through negotiations. It was true even in the worst times, and we have to do it again now,” she said.
She said that Russia must study everything that is offered to it.
“So it is on this basis that we hope that Moscow will consider what we have offered them and come back to the table, back to the bilateral table with the United States, back to the NATO-Russia Council and to the OSCE,” she said.
“The most important thing we heard from Moscow today is that the documents are with President Putin, that he is studying them. And as I said, we hope he sees here a real opportunity for a legacy of security and arms control, rather than a legacy of war,” Nuland said.
At the UN headquarters in New York, its envoy to the world organization, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the members of the Security Council must examine the facts frankly and reflect on what is at stake for Ukraine, the Russia, Europe and the fundamental obligations and principles of the international order should Russia continue to invade Ukraine.
“This is not a time to wait and see. The Council’s full attention is needed now, and we look forward to a direct and focused discussion on Monday,” she said.
Assistant Secretary of State Wendy Sherman spoke with NATO Assistant Secretary General Mircea Geoana, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Secretary General Helga Schmid, Secretary General from the European External Action Service (EEAS), Stefano Sannino and, representing the OSCE Chairmanship-in-Office, Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski.
They discussed US and NATO written responses to Russia, continued OSCE and EU engagement, and our continued commitment to diplomacy.
They agreed on the importance of close and continued coordination and unity in the face of Russia’s unprovoked military buildup on Ukraine’s borders, according to a press release.

Kevin E. Boling