World EU's top diplomat visits east Ukraine front to show support against Moscow
Russia, U.S. to Discuss NATO Expansion Next Week as Tensions Remain High With Ukraine
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed the talks in an interview on Monday, which come after thousands of troops left the Russian-Ukrainian border.Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed the talks in an interview on Monday. He said that the "main work of negotiations" will occur after Russia celebrates its holiday season, which lasts through January 9, 2022. Lavrov stressed Russia will make sure its proposals " aren't wound up in endless discussions, which the West is famous for and which it knows how to do, that there is a result of all these diplomatic efforts.
KYIV (Reuters) - The European Union's top diplomat visited the frontline of Ukraine's war with Russian-backed forces on Wednesday, in what Kyiv welcomed as a show of solidarity against the threat of a major new military confrontation with Moscow.
Josep Borrell flew by helicopter to the easterly Luhansk region, the first EU High Representative to do so since the outbreak of the conflict in 2014, as part of a Western diplomatic push in support of Ukraine.
Putin's Ukraine delusions threaten Russians
Central to Putin's view of Russian power is his contention that Ukraine is a Russian appendage led astray by the West.Paranoia drives Putin's overreach, whether he's issuing security ultimatums to the West or justifying media crackdowns at home. He frequently relies on rhetorical sleight of hand: He lumps the boogeyman of NATO expansion and independent news outlets together as "threats to the Russian Federation." But neither Moscow's supposed adversaries abroad nor its invented enemies within are threats to Russia or Russians. They are threats to Putin's regime and his conception of his own power.
"A very timely visit against the background of Russian blackmail, escalation and threats," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in a statement while accompanying Borrell.
"Ukraine has the support of the European Union in countering Russian aggression. In fact, this support is the strongest since 2014."
Borrell was meeting soldiers and civilians in the east before flying back to Kyiv, where he was expected to hold talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Thursday.
"With Russia's increased military build-up, I am here to show EU support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and to support sustained reform efforts that are key for resilience," Borrell tweeted.
Ukraine has scrambled to shore up support from Western allies in recent weeks, accusing Russia of massing tens of thousands of troops near its borders in preparation for a possible large scale military offensive.
US and Russia face deep differences ahead of Ukraine talks
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — After tough talk between Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin over the Russian troop buildup on the Ukraine border, both sides insist they are hopeful that a pathway to easing tensions could open during diplomatic talks set for January. But with less than two weeks to go before senior U.S. and Russian officials are to meet in Geneva, the chasm is deep and the prospect of finding an exit to the crisis faces no shortage of complications. Biden on Friday told reporters that he advised Putin when they spoke by phone a day earlier that the upcoming talks could only work if the Russian leader “deescalated, not escalated, the situation” in the days ahead.
Moscow denies U.S. assertions that it is planning an invasion of Ukraine and accuses Kyiv of building up its own forces in the east of the country.
Washington on Tuesday said there was strong consensus in Europe on the consequences for Russia if Moscow escalated the conflict with Ukraine.
Relations between Kyiv and Moscow collapsed after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and Moscow-backed forces seized territory in eastern Ukraine that Kyiv wants back.
Moscow wants guarantees that NATO will halt its eastward expansion and end military cooperation with Ukraine and Georgia, which have territorial disputes with Russia.
(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, Natalia Zinets and Matthias Williams; editing by John Stonestreet)
Russia is risking all-out war to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO .
Russia's dealings — or, more accurately, its clashes — with the West have focused on one country in recent years: Ukraine.It's back in focus this week with a series of high-stakes meetings taking place between Russian and western officials which are centered on trying to diffuse heightened tensions between Russia and its neighbor.