Ukraine conflict: Baerbock leaves diplomats in Kiev – politics

In contrast to the USA and Great Britain, Germany does not want to withdraw its embassy staff in the Ukrainian capital Kiev for the time being. “If economic players have the feeling that the situation in Ukraine as a whole is uncertain or unstable, the willingness to invest will decrease. That’s exactly what Putin would play into the cards,” Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) told the newspapers of the Funke media group and the French daily “Ouest-France” according to a preliminary report. Right now it is important not to destabilize Ukraine. Her message to Kiev is that they want to expand economic cooperation. According to the minister, the security situation for embassy staff is being continuously reviewed. If family members of embassy employees want to leave the country voluntarily, they can do so at the expense of the Federal Foreign Office. (27.01.2022)

US government requests special session of UN Security Council on Ukraine crisis

The UN Security Council is to deal with the current Ukraine crisis for the first time. The United States requested a meeting of the most powerful UN body for Monday, as the German Press Agency learned from diplomatic circles. The consultations in New York are to be held in public, probably at 4 p.m. German time.

The US and its western allies fear a Russian invasion of Ukraine. They demand that the approximately 100,000 Russian soldiers who have gathered at the Ukrainian border withdraw to the rear. The Security Council is less likely to find solutions to the conflict. Rather, the US could use the international stage as a means of exerting pressure on Moscow. (27.01.2022)

Zelenskij damkt Biden for US aid

US President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy have discussed the tense situation between Ukraine and Russia. The phone call is about security issues and energy, Zelensky’s spokesman wrote on Facebook. Zelensky then thanked his US colleague for the US help. “Discussed recent diplomatic efforts to de-escalate and agreed on joint actions for the future,” the Ukrainian president tweeted. (27.01.2022)

Von der Leyen: The EU has strong leverage

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has emphasized that in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s exclusion from the Swift payment system and an end to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline are possible. “Nothing is off the table,” she said in a CNN interview when asked about sanctions. She also stressed that they are trying to find a solution at the negotiating table, but are also preparing for the worst.

The EU is Russia’s largest trading partner, accounting for around 40 percent of trade in goods, and the largest foreign investor. “These figures show that we have a strong leverage and that it would be very painful for Russia if aggression against Ukraine escalated.” (27.01.2022)

Baerbock defends the course of the federal government

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has defended the German government’s refusal to supply arms to Ukraine. Turning the foreign policy course by 180 degrees on this issue “should be done with full awareness and, above all, not closing doors for de-escalation, which are opening so tentatively again at this very moment,” said the Greens politician Look at resuming calls.

Germany also supports Ukraine militarily, she said. Baerbock mentioned the delivery of combat helmets, the construction of protective bunkers and the training of Ukrainian soldiers. But dialogue has absolute priority. “Whoever talks doesn’t shoot, so it’s fatal to simply dismiss the resumption of dialogue,” said Baerbock. The federal government continues to focus on strengthening Ukraine economically and financially. (27.01.2022)

Russia Reluctant to US Response to Security Guarantees

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commented on the letters from NATO and the USA, which included security guarantees demanded by Russia. According to the Interfax news agency, Lavrov said that on the most important point there was no positive statement from the United States. Which point that is, however, remained open. In the case of secondary issues, however, there is hope for a serious dialogue.

The Kremlin also commented on the US response to the Russian demand for security guarantees. The assessment will take some time, explains the Office of the President in Moscow. However, it is already clear that Russia’s main demand has not been met. Nevertheless, it is possible to continue the dialogue. This is in the interests of Russia and the United States. Bilateral contacts would initially continue at working level, with Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden then deciding whether and when to meet in person. (27.01.2022)

Wang warns Blinken to ‘take Russia’s security concerns seriously’

From the Chinese point of view, Russia’s concerns about its security in the conflict over Ukraine must be “taken seriously and resolved”. In a phone call with US Secretary of State Tony Blinken, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged all parties to exercise restraint, the State Department reported in Beijing on Thursday.

One must refrain from exacerbating tensions or speculating to exaggerate the crisis. One country’s security cannot be at the expense of another. Nor can regional security be guaranteed by strengthening or even expanding military blocs, Wang Yi emphasized. In the 21st century, all parties should “completely abandon the Cold War mentality” and shape a balanced and sustainable security architecture in Europe through negotiations.

In order to solve the Ukraine problem, it is necessary to go back to the beginning of the Minsk accords, Wang Yi said. China supports all efforts in this direction. The deal was struck in 2014, five months after fighting began between Ukrainian government soldiers against Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. It was a first truce with a peace plan. But the implementation is lacking.

According to his spokesman Ned Price in Washington, Blinken underlined “the global security and economic risks that pose further Russian aggression against Ukraine”. The foreign minister said that de-escalation and diplomacy were the responsible way forward.

US: No Nord Stream 2 in case of invasion of Russia

The United States reiterated its announcement that it would impose sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 Baltic gas pipeline if Russia takes action against Ukraine. “I want to be very clear: if Russia invades Ukraine one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not happen,” said US State Department spokesman Ned Price. According to the July 21, 2021, US-German agreement, the gas pipeline may come under sanctions if Russia uses energy as a political weapon or acts against Ukraine. (26.01.2022)

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