In the coming days, the G7 foreign ministers will also discuss the situation surrounding Ukraine at a security conference in Munich. The conference has been held since 1963 and brings together leaders of the political, economic and armed forces at the Bayerischer Hof. The conference takes place in the Bavarian capital from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon.
Traditionally, the conference was set up to “enter into a dialogue for peace” in a relaxed atmosphere without any formal fanfare. The conference is basically a platform for NATO and/or EU countries, but over the years more and more countries have been invited and joined in. There are currently about 350 participants from more than seventy countries. But relaxation seems out of reach this year. Russia will not send an official delegation for the first time since 1991 due to tensions with the West over Ukraine.
Among the participants is US Vice President Kamala Harris, who will hold a conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about the crisis in his country after her speech on Saturday. The G7 foreign ministers are scheduled to discuss Ukraine at the conference on Saturday. German Foreign Minister Annalena Barbock is the host as chairperson. The Group of Seven is a group of influential Western industrialized countries. Its members are Germany, Canada, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and the USA. The European Union also joins but is not officially a member.
Biden on Thursday repeated his warning that Russia was about to invade Ukraine. “All indication we have is that they are ready to enter Ukraine,” the US president said.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has accepted an invitation to meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov late next week, the US State Department said Thursday (local time). The ministry said the meeting was conditional on Russia not invading Ukraine in the meantime.
Blinken said earlier today that he had sent a letter to Lavrov proposing to meet in Europe next week to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine. Later that day, Blinken repeated his warning to the UN Security Council that Russian forces were preparing to attack Ukraine in the “coming days”. It is said that Russia is planning to prepare an occasion for an incursion into the neighboring country, for example in the form of a fake or real attack with chemical weapons.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov described the military scenarios outlined by Blinken as “unfortunate” and “dangerous”. He added that some Russian soldiers stationed in the border area are just returning to their base. He also accused Ukraine of launching repeated attacks on the eastern Donbass region, in which “thousands” were killed.
Also listen to the Werelds podcast! On TikTok’s remarkable role in the conflict in Ukraine:
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