Britain affirms its position on Russia, when Russia pressures NATO to be assured

LONDON – British lawmakers will be asked to consider legislation this week that would allow ministers to impose a range of sanctions against Russia if it resists Ukrainethe British foreign minister said on Sunday.

The Secretary of State, Liz Truss, outlined the plan in an interview with broadcaster Sky News, presenting it as part of multiple efforts to prevent further aggression from the President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. Britain is currently supplying Ukraine with defensive weapons and has offered to increase its deployment elsewhere in Eastern Europe.

Also on Sunday, Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, said that Russia would seek clarity from NATO about its intentions days after the United States and its allies delivered an official disclaimer to Moscow’s request for NATO to withdraw from Eastern Europe and to ban Ukraine from joining the alliance.

Lavrov’s comments in an interview with Russian government television suggest that although Moscow is unhappy – as expected – with the Western response, there may still be a glimmer of hope for Russia. further diplomatic activities.

But if diplomacy fails, Ms. Truss said, British law will provide the country with more sanctions options, so there will be no “place to hide” for the oligarchs or “any public company”. who cares about the Kremlin and the regime in Russia.” Britain has long been a financial hub for Russia’s wealthy and well-connected, with a British parliamentary report describing London as a “laundry shop” for illegal Russian money.

Although the British Parliament usually takes weeks or months to pass a bill, the emergency procedures allow Parliament to legislate. for at least a day In some cases.

Ms Truss said Britain would rule out nothing and would “consider all options” to support Ukraine, as the UK government and its allies pursue a foreign policy while developing sanctions. economy can convince Mr. Putin not to invade.

“We are doing all we can through deterrence and diplomacy to urge him to drop the list,” Ms. Truss, who is scheduled to meet the Ukrainian president and Russian foreign minister in the next two weeks. . told BBC.

Biden administration officials on Sunday reiterated that the United States believes a Russian invasion is “imminent,” even as Ukraine tries to play down the crisis.

The Pentagon’s press secretary, John F. Kirby, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

On CNN’s “State of the Union,” the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Menendez, a Democrat of New Jersey, appeared alongside the panel’s top Republican, the Senate. Congressman Jim Risch of Idaho. Mr Menendez said there was “an extremely strong bipartisan determination to have dire consequences for Russia if it invaded Ukraine, and in some cases for what it did.”

Mr Menendez said that the law under discussion is expected to include “major sanctions on the most important Russian banks: crippling their economies, with significant consequences for people”. ordinary Russian citizens and their accounts and pensions.”

However, sanctions were not Mr. Lavrov’s focus on Sunday – NATO was.

He say A formal request was sent Sunday to both NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, an alliance that includes Russia. Lavrov described it as “an urgent request to explain how they intend to fulfill their obligation not to increase their security at the expense of the security of others”.

“If they don’t, then they have to explain why,” Lavrov said, adding that “this will be the key question in determining our next proposals, which will not be the case,” Lavrov said. We will report to the President of Russia.”

The Kremlin has been fiercely critical of NATO’s so-called open-door policy of granting membership to former Communist bloc countries without taking into account Russia’s security concerns. In his remarks, Lavrov reiterated the Kremlin’s frequent complaint that NATO, in the years since the fall of the Soviet Union, is closer than ever to Russia’s borders.

“Now they have come to Ukraine, and they want to pull that country in,” Mr. Lavrov said. “Although everyone understands that Ukraine is not ready and will not contribute to the strengthening of NATO’s security.”

As temperatures remain high between much of the West and Russia, a bit of political will has clearly paid off. Russia supports plans to conduct naval exercises next week in international waters off the coast of Ireland, which has drawn opposition from Irish fishing groups and the Irish government.

The exercises are set to take place 150 miles off the southwest coast of Ireland, outside its territorial waters but within Ireland’s exclusive economic zone, an area where the state has sovereignty over marine resources.

Fishing groups raised concerns that the practice could disrupt marine life and jeopardize an area vital to their trade. An organization has plan a peaceful protest Homeworks.

Ireland’s foreign minister, Simon Coveney, describes the exercises proposed in an interview last week to Irish public broadcaster RTE as “simply unwelcome and not wanted right now.”

While acknowledging that Russia’s plans do not violate international law of the sea, Mr said in a statement that his department raised a number of concerns with Russian authorities “in light of the current political and security environment in Europe.”

Moscow then decided to move the exercises outside of Ireland’s exclusive economic zone “as a gesture of goodwill,” said Russia’s Ambassador to Ireland, Yuriy Filatov, said in a statement released on Saturday.

Mr. Coveney say on Twitter that he welcomed Russia’s response.

Emily Cochrane and Helene Cooper reporting contributions from Washington, and Michael Schwirtz from Kyiv, Ukraine. Britain affirms its position on Russia, when Russia pressures NATO to be assured

Fry Electronics Team

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