Putin Makes Huge Statement About Recognition Of Ukraine Rebel Claims Of Independence
Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken with leader from both Germany and France, stating that he is going forward with his plan to sign a decree that recognizes the two breakaway regions located in eastern Ukraine as independent entities, according to the Kremlin.
Both French and German leaders said they are disappointed after hearing this decision. The move by Moscow is likely to sink any sort of last-minute bid for a summit in order to prevent Russia from steamrolling into Ukraine.
Separately, Moscow said Ukrainian military saboteurs had tried to enter Russian territory in armed vehicles leading to five deaths, an accusation dismissed as “fake news” by Kyiv.
Both developments fit a pattern repeatedly predicted by Western governments, who accuse Russia of preparing to fabricate a pretext to invade Ukraine by blaming Kyiv for attacks and relying on pleas for help from separatist proxies.
Recognition by Moscow of the rebel regions’ independence will narrow the diplomatic options to avoid war, since it is an explicit rejection of a seven-year-old ceasefire mediated by France and Germany, touted as the framework for future negotiations on the wider crisis.
Hours earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron gave hope of a diplomatic solution, saying Putin and Biden had agreed in principle to meet.
But the Kremlin said there were no specific plans for a summit. The White House said Biden had accepted the meeting “in principle” but only “if an invasion hasn’t happened.”
In Washington, President Joe Biden summoned his top security advisers. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and General Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, could be seen entering the White House on the President’s Day holiday.
“Washington says Russia has massed a force numbering 169,000-190,000 troops in the region, including the pro-Russian rebels in the breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine, and could invade within days. The recognition of the rebel-held areas could also provide a pretext for Russian troops to cross the border into those areas,” the report from Newsmax stated.
Russia is, of course, denying any sort of plan to attack Ukraine, but has threatened to employ the use of “military-technical” action if it does not receive security guarantees, which includes a promise that the country will not ever join NATO.