US President Joe Biden has urged all American citizens still in Ukraine to depart from the nation without any delay, referencing the growing risks of Russian military action.
Mr Biden stated that he would not deliver forces to save Americans if Moscow attacks Ukraine.
He cautioned that “things could go crazy quickly” in the area.
Russia has continuously declined any intentions to attack Ukraine despite massing troops of more than 100,000 near the border. But it has just started enormous military drills with neighbouring Belarus, and Ukraine has blamed Russia for preventing its access to the sea.
The Kremlin claims it desires to impose “red lines” to ensure that its former Soviet neighbour does not join Nato.
Europe Facing Biggest Security Crisis in Years
On Thursday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that Europe went through its biggest security crisis in years during the tensions.
The US State Department requested Americans remaining in Ukraine to take an exit immediately.
President Biden told NBC News “American citizens should leave now,” adding further “We’re dealing with one of the largest armies in the world. It’s a very different situation and things could go crazy quickly.”
When Biden was questioned whether there was a circumstance that could impel him to send troops to save escaping Americans, Mr Biden responded “There’s not. That’s a world war when Americans and Russia start shooting at one another. We’re in a very different world than we’ve ever been.”
Meanwhile, world leaders went on ferocious diplomacy to ease the current crisis across Ukraine.
On late Thursday, Russia and Ukraine announced that they had failed to arrive at any breakthrough following a discussion with French and German officials for nine hours focused on ending the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian envoy Andriy Yermak stated that whilst there were frictions “there is a will to continue and there is a will to negotiate”.
The ongoing tensions arrive eight years after Russia annexed Ukraine’s southern Crimea peninsula. Since then, Ukraine’s military has been locked in a war with Russian-supported rebels in eastern areas near Russia’s borders.
Previously, the UK prime minister stated that he wished “strong deterrence” and “patient diplomacy” could discover a way through the crisis but the stakes were “very high”.
In a joint news conference in Brussels with Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg, Mr Johnson stated he did not expect Russia had yet decided on whether to attack Ukraine but the UK’s intelligence “remains grim”.
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace was yet to meet Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu in Moscow on Friday, a day following a frosty encounter between Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Britain’s Liz Truss.
Relations Between UK and Russia at the Lowest Point
Mr Lavrov stated that relations between the UK and Russia “leave much to be desired” and are at the “lowest point over the past few years”. Ms Truss blamed Russia for “Cold War rhetoric”.
Before heading to Moscow, Mr Wallace said that the UK was giving more defensive weapons, along with body armour, helmets and combat boots to the Ukrainian government. He also confirmed it was vital to express that Nato countries “won’t let threats push us around”.
In the meantime, Ukraine blamed Russia for hindering its access to the sea since Russia is preparing for naval exercises.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated that the Sea of Azov was fully blocked and the Black Sea nearly completely cut off by Russian troops.
Russia’s naval exercises were about to happen next week in the two seas to the south of Ukraine, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
Although, on Friday, Ukraine’s Border Guard Service said that Russia had informed them it had dismissed its drill in the Sea of Azov, an internal sea bordered by both Russia and Ukraine. Two areas of the Black Sea will still be shut off for 6 days starting from Sunday.
10-day Military Exercises Continued in Belarus
On Friday, Russian naval drills were already happening in Crimea, whilst ten days of military exercises persisted in Belarus, to the north of Ukraine.
There are threats that if Russia makes attempts to attack Ukraine, the exercises put the Russian military close to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, making an invasion of the city even easier. Russia notes its troops will get back to their permanent bases following the end of the drill.
Ukraine has introduced its 10-day military exercises; however, officials have provided little information.
Moscow claims it can’t accept that Ukraine, a former Soviet republic with deep social and cultural connection with Russia, could one day team up with the Western defence alliance Nato and has urged that this be frozen out.
Since 2014, Russia has been supporting a bloody armed rebellion in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. Nearly fourteen thousand people, along with many civilians, have lost their lives in battle since then.
There is some recommendation that revised attention on the so-called Minsk agreements, which wanted to put an end to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, could be utilized as a basis to ease the current crisis.
Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany supported the accords in 2014-2015.