The White House on Thursday sounded its loudest alarm bells to date that Russia soon will invade Ukraine, while asserting the diplomatic door was “still open” to Moscow, TURAN’s Washington correspondent reports.
Threat of an invasion is “very high,” – President Joe Biden told the press pool. “Every indication we have is that they’re prepared to go into Ukraine… My sense is this will happen within the next several days,” he said.
Tensions in the Russian-Ukraine conflict reached a fever pitch in the afternoon as Moscow and Washington lashed out at one another accusing the other side of making unfounded accusations.
During his surprise appearance at the UN Security Council, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Russia could be prepping other false-flag operations such as fabricated so-called terrorist bombing inside Russia with fake graves and drone strikes, or a “fake, even a real, attack using chemical weapons,” reminding that Moscow had made “no effort” to withdraw its forces from near the Ukrainian border, as promised earlier this week
Russia in its turn claimed it had a “clear timetable” for its units to return to their permanent bases after it completes military exercises and that such a wind down “takes time”.
“I am here today not to start a war but to prevent one,” Blinken said in his speech. “The stakes go far beyond Ukraine. This is a moment of peril for the lives and safety of millions of people, as well as for the foundation of the United Nations Charter and the rules-based international order that preserves stability worldwide,” he said. “This crisis directly affects every member of this council and every country in the world.”
If Russia doesn’t invade Ukraine, “then we will be relieved that Russia changed course and proved our predictions wrong,” Blinken added, “That would be a far better outcome than the course we’re currently on. And we will gladly accept any criticism that anyone directs at us.”
For Washington, diplomacy is the only responsible way to resolve this crisis. Blinken said that he sent a letter to Russia’s FM Sergey Lavrov proposing a meeting next week in Europe, “following on our talks in recent weeks, to discuss the steps that we can take to resolve this crisis without conflict. We are also proposing meetings of the NATO-Russia Council and the OSCE Permanent Council.”
These meetings can pave the way for a summit of key leaders, in the context of de-escalation, to reach understandings on our mutual security concerns, he said.
“Let me make this simple. The Russian Government can announce today – with no qualification, equivocation, or deflection – that Russia will not invade Ukraine. State it clearly. State it plainly to the world. And then demonstrate it by sending your troops, your tanks, your planes back to their barracks and hangars and sending your diplomats to the negotiating table,” he concluded.