MOSCOW – Russian President Putin held an unscheduled Security Council meeting on Monday, as the Kremlin said “tensions are growing” and the US continued to warn that his nation was ready to strike. Ukraine.
Putin held a second phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron at 1 a.m. Moscow time on Monday morning, after speaking with the French leader on Sunday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri S. Peskov, told reporters.
The French president said Mr. Macron had proposed a summit between Presidents Biden and Putin, but Mr. Peskov did not confirm that preparations for such a meeting had begun.
“It is clear that tensions are increasing,” Peskov said. “It’s too early to talk about concrete plans to hold any summit.”
At Monday’s extraordinary meeting of the Security Council, Putin gave a speech about the tensions.
“We have to decide together what we will do next and how we must act in the situation that emerges today,” Putin said.
Putin said the meeting would also consider next steps related to his demands for “security guarantees” from the West, such as NATO’s withdrawal of NATO’s presence in Eastern Europe and legally binding commitments bar Ukraine from joining the union.
“For us, this is the number one task,” Putin said. “Securing the security and conditions for our country’s development is a priority.”
Putin increasingly describes NATO’s eastward expansion as an existential threat to his country, and asserted that Moscow’s military build-up was a response to Ukraine’s deepening partnership with the alliance. Basically, he intends to turn back the clock 30 years, right before the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The meeting, which comes a day after Mr Macron’s latest major round of diplomacy, appeared to offer some fresh hope for a peaceful resolution of Ukraine as White House officials said Mr Biden would be willing to see consider direct negotiations with him. Partner Russia as long as Russia does not invade.
Although he did not confirm plans to hold the summit, Peskov noted that Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov plans to meet with Foreign Minister Antony J. Blinken this week and that he may also speak with his French counterpart. Lavrov confirmed the meeting.
White House officials said a possible summit between Mr Biden and Mr Putin would only be held after a meeting between the two countries’ top diplomats, scheduled for the weekend. this.
On Monday, public opinion about the impending war became even greater, when Russian media reported the separatists’ claims of an escalating attack by Ukrainian forces. Russian state television reported that from the separatist-held city of Donetsk, Ukraine had bombarded communications systems, bridges, water purification stations and other key infrastructure targets, and sent military personnel. vandals behind the separatist front lines.
According to Interfax news agency, the separatists now need military support from Russia, a separatist spokesman said in an interview with a Russian journalist on YouTube.
Ukrainian officials insist their military is not preparing an attack against the breakaway republic, and say the separatists are shelling their territory.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/20/world/europe/president-biden-agreed-in-principle-to-meet-with-putin-to-discuss-the-ukraine-crisis.html Putin’s Security Council meets as Kremlin warns that ‘tense is growing.’