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The Ukrainian crisis, Macron’s rush to avoid war. Putin phone calls: ‘Summit with Biden’ – Corriere.it

to Stefano Montefiore’s editorial online

Phone call with Putin and Zelensky: Re-establish the ceasefire

from our reporter
Paris
– Surprisingly, at night, after a series of phone calls from Emmanuel Macron in Moscow, Kiev, London, Berlin and Washington, the announcement of the Elysee arrived: Russian President Putin and US President Biden accepted the proposal in principle for Macron and soon to see at a bilateral summit “which will later be extended to the parties concerned” on security and strategic stability in Europe. The content of the summit will be prepared by US Secretary of State Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov at their meeting already scheduled for Thursday, February 24. “The summit can only be held if Russia does not invade Ukraine,” the Elysee is keen to specify in the statement. Confirmation also comes from White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

It is the unexpected result of Macron’s frantic diplomatic activity who spent Sunday speaking on the phone separately with Russian crisis heroes Putin and Ukrainian Zelensky, then later in the evening with German Chancellor Olaf Schulz, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Biden, and then again at 11pm with Putin for about an hour.

Putin and Zelensky agreed on the need In order to “re-establish the ceasefire” in Donbass, Putin stressed that he wants to intensify efforts to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine through diplomatic channels. A struggle that lay dormant until a few days ago when it resumed, prompted by Moscow. Before the summit was announced, Macron’s advisers insisted that “every day that passes without war is a day that is won by peace. Great concern but diplomacy methods.” They are not exhausted yet, the ball is in Putin’s court.”

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The turning point came at the top after due pessimism For the very discouraging news coming from Belarus. After President Macron’s visit to the Kremlin on February 7, Putin said that Russian soldiers would leave Belarus as planned after the exercises ended, thus alleviating one of the threats weighing on Ukraine. It seemed to be the important evidence of the de-escalation that Europe sought, and a useful indicator of whether things were better or worse.

Training was supposed to end yesterday, but Belarus It announced that 30,000 Russian soldiers who are on its soil remain so far, as fighting resumed in Donbass, eastern Ukraine. But the Elysee asserts that Putin reiterated to Macron his “intention to withdraw troops from Belarus at the end of the current exercises”, and that it will take some time to understand what this means.

It is an important aspect because the northern border Ukraine with Belarus is less protected than eastern with Russia, and starting from the north Russian tanks will reach the capital Kiev more quickly. The West seems relatively unified, but throughout the day the tones are much tougher than the United States and Great Britain.. Biden met the National Security Council last night, convinced that Russia could launch the attack at any time. On Friday, the US president said that he was confident that Putin had already made the decision to invade Ukraine: yesterday it became known that Biden relied on intelligence sources, according to which Putin gave the order to attack military leaders on the ground. According to Johnson, Russia is preparing for “the biggest war in Europe since 1945.”

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The US Embassy in Moscow, citing media sources, It warns of “possible attacks on shopping malls, railway and metro stations in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and in the most tense areas along the border between Russia and Ukraine.” After that, news of the Putin-Biden summit extended to Ukraine and the European Union gives time and new possibilities for a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

Feb 20 2022 (change on Feb 21, 2022 | 03:48)