Ukraine: President Biden in crisis talks with European leaders
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On Monday, Boris Johnson held a video meeting with Joe Biden alongside the leaders of Italy, Poland, France, Germany, the European Commission and NATO. Downing Street said the leaders “agreed on the importance of international unity” and that diplomatic discussions with Russia remained “the first priority”.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister said that in a call with the US President and Emmanuel Macron, the French President, they “agreed that we would respond in unison to any Russian attack in Ukraine”.
However, the EU’s top diplomat accused the UK and US of “dramatizing” the growing tensions.
Josep Borrell said: “You have to stay calm doing what you have to do, and avoid a nervous breakdown.
“We are not going to do the same thing, because we do not know any specific reasons.”
There have been mounting tensions between Russia and the West in recent months, following a build-up of troops on the border with Ukraine.
There are now an estimated 100,000 Russian troops on the border, stoking fears of an invasion.
While the UK has sent anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, other eastern European nations have also sent military equipment.
However, Germany has only committed one field hospital, holding back on sending arms.
Europe is heavily reliant on Russian energy – a cause for concern when Russia cut the volume of natural gas to Europe last year.
Russia has been vying for Germany and the EU to approve the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, which would feed the fuel directly into Germany, circumventing Ukraine altogether.
The US has reportedly been lobbying Germany to cancel the deal.
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Announcing a package of financial measures on Monday, Ms Von der Leyen, the European Commission President, said: “The EU stands by Ukraine. We are firm in our resolve.”
Writing on the Express.co.uk website, one reader reacted: “If Vladimir Putin did not invade, it is because UK and US spoke up and NATO also took positive action.
“What do you expect from a Germany which continues to buy gas and build Nordstream 2 with Russia and having China as its biggest trading partner?”
They went on to ask why people put up with Ms Von der Leyen’s “nonsense”.
Meanwhile, WidowSon commented: “Isn’t’ it ironic that on the one hand the EU is trying to annex part of the UK, whilst at the same time threatening sanctions on Russia for trying to do exactly the same.”
Pete29 replied: “It was Boris’s deal that he proposed, negotiated and signed. The EU is in no way trying to annex Northern Ireland.”
To which Widowson responded: “And Russia has no intention of invading the Ukraine…”
And generalgloom said: “EU will throw Ukraine under the T72 to get its gas” – a reference to the Russian T72 tank.
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