US warns Russia poised to attack Ukraine ‘at any point’

The United States has raised the alarm on a doubtlessly imminent Russian attack in opposition to Ukraine, forward of a whirlwind diplomatic mission by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

With tens of 1000’s of Russian troops already massed on Ukraine's borders, Mr Blinken flew to meet with the Ukrainians and European allies, forward of talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday.

US officers upped the menace degree, saying that the slow-brewing disaster was reaching a harmful new stage.

"We believe we're now at a stage where Russia could at any point launch an attack on Ukraine," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki mentioned.

"I would say that's more stark than we have been."

In an ominous new growth, a senior State Department official mentioned there may be concern that draft constitutional reforms in Belarus, an authoritarian state carefully allied to Moscow, may enable deployment of Russian nuclear weapons.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is due in Kiev for talks on Wednesday

This got here as Russian troops poured into the nation for what have been mentioned to be coaching workout routines however at ranges that the US official mentioned have been far "beyond normal."

Russia insists it has no plans to invade Ukraine, the place in 2014 it already seized one province and backed separatist rebels in one other area.

However, Moscow's build-up of offensive weaponry and troops leaves little doubt that a minimum of a possible assault is being ready as a manner to again the Kremlin's broader purpose of stopping pro-Western Ukraine from leaving the Russian sphere of affect.

Among Russia's calls for is a pledge from the NATO alliance that it by no means supply Ukraine membership – one thing NATO calls a non-starter.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Ms Psaki blamed the Russian chief, saying "President Putin has created this crisis" and warned once more that unprecedented financial sanctions would comply with a Russian attack in opposition to Ukraine.

"No option is off the table" when it comes to sanctions, she mentioned, warning of an "extremely dangerous situation."

Ms Psaki pressured that this might embody shelving the Nord Stream 2 pure gasoline pipeline from Russia to Germany.

Belarus navy drills

Secretary of State Blinken will head to Berlin on Thursday for four-way talks with Britain, France and Germany.

They will focus on "joint efforts to deter further Russian aggression against Ukraine, including… readiness to impose massive consequences and severe economic costs on Russia," Price mentioned in an announcement.

Mr Blinken and Lavrov are then to meet in Geneva Friday, a US official mentioned.

Ukraine, the US and European international locations have raised deep issues over Russia's troop build-up, regardless of repeated denials from Moscow that an invasion is deliberate.

However, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba mentioned on Tuesday that the scenario was "under control, so please don't panic".

Kyiv has been at conflict with pro-Moscow separatists in Ukraine's east since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula after demonstrations ousted a Kremlin-aligned chief.

Adding to the tensions, Russia and Ukraine's neighbour Belarus on Tuesday launched snap navy workout routines.

The Belarusian defence ministry mentioned it was internet hosting the drills due to the persevering with "aggravation" of navy tensions, together with on its western and southern borders.

Ukraine borders Belarus to the south and NATO member Poland to the west.

Neither Moscow nor Minsk has disclosed the variety of troops concerned, however video revealed by Belarus confirmed navy automobiles together with tanks being unloaded from trains.

Warning from Turkey

NATO member Turkey additionally warned Moscow in opposition to invading Ukraine, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying on Tuesday he intends to focus on rising tensions with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Erdogan informed reporters in Albania an invasion was not "a realistic option" as a result of "Ukraine is a powerful country".

Turkey has provided fight drones to Ukrainian forces, drawing fierce criticism from Moscow.

Russian negotiators met individually this month with delegations from the United States, NATO and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), in conferences that ended inconclusively.

British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace introduced in parliament on Monday that Britain is sending weapons to Ukraine.

The varieties of tools being despatched "are not strategic weapons and pose no threat to Russia," he mentioned, describing them as "light, anti-armour, defensive weapon systems". Moscow labelled the shipments "extremely dangerous".

primarily based on web site supplies www.rte.ie

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