EU Foreign Policy Chief Suggests US & UK Are ‘Dramatizing’ Ukraine Situation
Amid what appears to be the beginnings of a NATO military build-up in Eastern Europe in “response” to Russia’s own troop placements near the Russia-Ukraine border, Moscow is continuing to urge the West to halt its “hysteria” – which itself is fueling the crisis.
It responded to NATO’s fresh albeit very limited deployments of jets and ships Monday with the following: “As for specific actions, we see statements by the North Atlantic Alliance about reinforcement, pulling forces and resources to the eastern flank. All this leads to the fact that tensions are growing,” according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
“This is not happening because of what we, Russia, are doing. This is all happening because of what NATO and the U.S. are doing and due to the information they are spreading.” Peskov denounced what he dubbed the “information hysteria” emanating from the US and West.
And as part of this general atmosphere of hype and build-up, both the US and UK embassies have begun drawing down some of their non-essential staff and diplomats’ family members from Ukraine. “Officials say there have been no specific threats to British diplomats, but about half of the staff working in Kyiv will return to the UK,” BBC noted of the move. This after the US claimed starting last week that a Russian invasion could come “at any time”.
Israel has also entered high level discussions over a possible airlift of Jews from the country, citing the possibility of a Russian invasion, according to Haaretz on Monday:
With a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine looming, a briefing held Sunday by top officials in the Israeli government and Jewish organizations discussed the level of threat to Jewish communities in Ukraine and the possibility that Israel will facilitate an evacuation program.
But interestingly, so far it appears the EU at this point actually agrees with Russia concerning the overblown and unnecessary ‘hysteria’ surrounding the Ukraine situation.
According to AFP/Reuters reporting, Europe’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said Monday there’s no need to “dramatize” the situation while confirming that EU diplomats will not follow the US and UK in drawing down their presence in Ukraine:
The EU is not following the US in withdrawing its diplomats’ families from Ukraine, top European diplomat Josep Borrell said on Monday (24 January), adding that there was no need to “dramatize” the situation while talks with Russia continue.
“We are not going to do the same thing because we don’t know any specific reasons,” Borrell said as he arrived for a meeting of EU foreign ministers which will include videolink participation by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“I don’t think we had to dramatize as far as the negotiations are going on — and they are going on.”
Borell urged that diplomacy be given a chance, as the US and Russia – as well as NATO – continue to directly engage over the crisis in ongoing direct talks. His comments were indirectly aimed at Britain and the US, who’ve been far out front on hyping the Russia threat.
Below is Borell on Monday suggesting that some Western countries and officials are overly dramatizing the situation…
Crucially, Normandy format talks are set to kick off in Paris on Tuesday and Wednesday, which has been pushed by Germany who has largely stayed neutral as Western allies escalate their response, where German, Russian, Ukrainian and French officials will tackle the Ukraine crisis.
Reuters had earlier reported that “Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to Ukraine’s chief negotiator Andriy Yermak, confirmed that a meeting in Paris was planned but told Reuters a preliminary date had been set for Jan. 26.” The Kremlin had over the weekend stated the sides “agreed on further contacts, including the participation of the Ukrainian leadership so as to end [the conflict in eastern Ukraine] as soon as possible.”
Mon, 01/24/2022 – 10:40