US Vice President Joe Biden has urged any American people still in Ukraine to leave the country immediately, citing heightened Russian military threats.
Mr. Biden stated that if Russia invades Ukraine, he will not send soldiers to rescue Americans. He cautioned that “things could go crazy quickly” in the area.
Despite amassing more than 100,000 troops along the border, Russia has consistently denied any intention of invading Ukraine. However, it has just recently undertaken extensive military exercises with neighbouring Belarus, and Ukraine has accused Russia of obstructing its access to the sea.
The Kremlin claims it would impose “red lines” to prevent its former Soviet neighbour from joining NATO.
In the midst of the tensions, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared on Thursday that Europe was facing its worst security crisis in decades.
The US State Department has encouraged Americans in Ukraine to leave as soon as possible.
“We’re up against one of the world’s largest armies. It’s a whole different circumstance, and things might easily spiral out of control.”
When asked if there was a situation in which he would send soldiers to rescue fleeing Americans, Mr. Biden replied: “There isn’t any. When the United States and Russia start firing at each other, that is the start of a world war. We live in a totally different world than we have in the past.”
Meanwhile, world leaders resumed their frenetic diplomacy to defuse the present Ukraine issue.
After nine hours of discussions with French and German officials aimed at ending the separatist crisis in eastern Ukraine, Russia and Ukraine acknowledged late Thursday that they had failed to establish a breakthrough. While there are disputes, Ukrainian ambassador Andriy Yermak stated that “there is a will to continue and there is a will to negotiate”
The present tensions are the result of Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s southern Crimean peninsula eight years ago. Since then, Ukraine’s military has been at odds with Russian-backed insurgents in eastern territories close to Russia’s borders.
Earlier, UK Prime Minister David Cameron stated that he hoped “strong deterrence” and “patient diplomacy” might find a way out of the issue, but that the stakes were “very high”
Mr Johnson told a joint press conference in Brussels with Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that he did not believe Russia had made up its mind about invading Ukraine yet, but that the UK’s intelligence “remains grim”
On Friday, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace was scheduled to meet with his Russian colleague Sergei Shoigu in Moscow, a day after Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Britain’s Liz Truss had a tense meeting.
Relations between the UK and Russia, according to Mr Lavrov, “leave much to be desired” and are at their “lowest point over the past few years” Ms Truss charged Russia for using “Cold War rhetoric”
Before travelling to Moscow, Mr Wallace acknowledged that the UK was sending the Ukrainian government with extra defensive equipment, such as body armor, helmets, and combat boots. He also stressed the importance of demonstrating that Nato members “won’t let threats push us around” by threatening.
On Friday, Russian naval maneuvers began near Crimea, while a 10-day military exercise in Belarus, to the north of Ukraine, proceeded.
There are concerns that if Russia decides to invade Ukraine, the drills will bring Russian troops closer to Kyiv, making an attack on the city easier. After the drills, Russia claims its troops will return to their regular posts.
Ukraine has begun its own 10-day military drills, albeit little specifics have been released.