The Ukrainian file ignites a little more. The United States warned on Friday 11 February that a Russian military invasion of Ukraine, marked by a massive campaign of air raids and a “fast attack” on Kiev, was a “very real possibility” the coming days. The White House urged Americans to leave the country “within 24 to 48 hours”.
“We continue to see signs of Russian escalation, including the arrival of new forces on the Ukrainian border”, said Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan. This invasion can “intervene at any time”including before the end of the Beijing Olympics scheduled for February 20, he added.
“We are not saying that a decision has been made, that a final decision has been made by President Putin”he tempered, believing that a path to de-escalation was still possible, in particular through diplomacy. “Whatever happens, the West is more united than it has been for years, NATO has grown stronger”assured the adviser, in this context of tensions pushed to their climax.
According to the Pentagon, the US and Russian chiefs of staff spoke on the phone on Friday. “I expect President Biden to speak with President Putin over the phone, but I have nothing to announce at this time”, added Jake Sullivan. A senior White House official then told AFP, on condition of anonymity, that Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin would exchange on Saturday morning.
On the French side, the Elysée announced on Friday evening that Emmanuel Macron would speak to Vladimir Poutine on Saturday noon. Westerners want to resolve the crisis on the Russian-Ukrainian border by “diplomatic means, dialogue and deterrence”assures the presidential palace.
In the evening, thehe head of American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, assured his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kouleba, of the “firm support” from USA to Kyiv “in the face of an increasingly acute threat” of Russian invasion.
The European Union has recommended that non-essential staff of its representation in Kyiv leave Ukraine “as soon as possible” to telecommute from abroad. “We are not evacuating”nuanced a spokesperson for the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell.
Latvia and Estonia called on Friday for their nationals to leave Ukraine. saying “fear for the security of Europe”, the United Kingdom did the same. The Elysée clarified that France did not plan, at this stage, to ask French people in Ukraine to leave the country.