Russia-Ukraine crisis: Tensions spiked in recent days after an outbreak of heavy shellfire on Ukraine’s eastern frontline with the separatists.
New Delhi: Efforts to prevent an invasion of Ukraine were dealt a blow when Russia recognised independence of two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine. The US announced financial sanctions against the rebel territories and will impose new sanctions on Russia.
Here are the latest developments on the Russia-Ukraine crisis:
- Russian President Vladimir Putin signed mutual aid and friendship agreements with rebel leaders in the Kremlin today. “I believe it is necessary to take a long-overdue decision, to immediately recognise the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic,” he said
- The West had repeatedly warned Russia against recognising Ukraine’s rebels. But Russia’s latest decrees effectively bury a fragile peace agreement regulating the conflict.
- The United Nations Security Council is holding an emergency meeting today at the request of Ukraine, the US, 5 European nations and Mexico.
- At the meet, India called for de-escalation of the crisis. “We can’t afford a military escalation. We call for restraint on all sides. We’re convinced that this issue can only be resolved through diplomatic dialogue,” India’s representative said the UNSC meeting on Ukraine crisis.
- Russian envoy to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya on Monday said Moscow remains “open to diplomacy” but stressed the need to defend separatist areas from what he dubbed Ukrainian aggession. “We remain open to diplomacy for a diplomatic solution. However, allowing a new bloodbath in the Donbass is something we do not intend to do,” he said during an emergency UN Security Council meeting.
- The United States has announced financial sanctions against rebel territories freshly recognised by Russia in eastern Ukraine. “I have signed an Executive Order to deny Russia the chance to profit from its blatant violations of international law. We are continuing to closely consult with Allies and partners, including Ukraine, on next steps,” President Joe Biden said while signing the executive order. The United States also said it will impose two sanctions on Russia tomorrow.
- The Russian forces are stationed just a few kilometres away from the Ukrainian border, along with fighter jets, tanks, helicopters and heavy weaponry. All this points to Russia’s intention of starting a full-scale war in the region, the West has claimed.
- Russia claims the build-up of forces has always been for military exercises and that it poses no threat to Ukraine or any other nation.
- Tensions spiked in recent days after an outbreak of heavy shellfire on Ukraine’s eastern frontline with the separatists and a series of reported incidents on the border with Russia.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy accused Russia of wrecking peace efforts and ruled out making any territorial concessions in an address to the nation today.