Meetings between leaders to calm the Ukrainian crisis.. NATO is discussing a long-term military presence in Eastern Europe to enhance deterrence

Diplomatic moves accelerated today, Monday, to calm the Ukrainian crisis, as Russian President Vladimir Putin received his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in the Kremlin, and US President Joe Biden is holding talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

During his talks in the Kremlin, Macron said that Russia and the West should find common answers that “prevent the outbreak of war” and “allow building blocks of confidence and stability,” expressing hope that the talks will lead to a calming of the situation on Ukraine.

For his part, the Russian president said that his country and the West have common concerns about security in Europe.

After the end of his talks in Moscow, the French president is scheduled to head to Ukraine, where he will discuss with President Volodymyr Zelensky ways to reduce escalation.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said before his meeting with President Biden in Washington that the response to Russia would be unified and decisive if it invaded Ukraine.

For his part, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that the United States, in coordination with its allies, has informed Russia that any sanctions that will be imposed on it will be long-term, stressing that Washington is ready with its allies “for the worst case scenario, in order to defend European security.”

In the same context, a US official told Reuters that his country will discuss in Europe this week the coordination of sanctions to be imposed on Russia if it invades Ukraine.

Today, Monday, Kiev is witnessing a diplomatic day heavy with meetings; The foreign ministers of several countries will visit Ukraine: German Annalina Birbock, Czech Jan Libavsky, Slovakian Ivan Korcuk, and Austrian Alexander Schallenberg.

in Eastern Europe

In terms of military moves, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance is looking into the issue of prolonging its military presence in Eastern Europe to strengthen deterrence.

He added in a press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda today, Monday, that the Russian military deployment is neither justified nor transparent, and that it is very close to the borders of the alliance.

Stoltenberg confirmed the alliance’s readiness to discuss outstanding issues with Moscow, but said that this did not include the issue of new members joining the alliance.

He pointed out that the alliance must remain in a state of readiness, and that sending American forces to Eastern Europe indicates the commitment of the United States to the security of the alliance.

In a related context, British Defense Minister Ben Wallace said that his country decided to send an additional 350 soldiers to Poland.

Wallace added, in a joint press conference with his Polish counterpart, Mariusz Blasak in London, that the two countries are discussing ways to deter Russia and what can be done if Moscow takes a “stupid” step in invading Ukraine, as he put it.

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