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India keeping close vigil on Ukraine-Russia tensions

India on Friday said that it is keeping a close vigil over the developments relating to Ukraine.

Addressing a presser on January 28, 2022, the Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi said, “We have been closely following the developments relating to Ukraine, including the ongoing high-level discussions between Russia and the US.”

The MEA further added, “Our Embassy in Kyiv is also monitoring local developments. We call for a peaceful resolution of the situation through sustained diplomatic efforts for long-term peace and stability in the region and beyond.”

Russia-Ukraine crisis

The intensification of Russia’s military buildup (according to reports, deployment of the 127000 troops and heavy weapons) at the Ukrainian border, stoked fear of the possible invasion by Moscow. The possibility (of invasion) though denounced by Russia already saying it can deploy it forces on its territory however chooses.

Following the heightened tensions, two rounds of talks were held to pacify the situation through diplomatic channels. The first round of talks was held between US and Russia in and later the NATO-Russia Council Meeting was held in Brussels.

During the Russia-US talks, Moscow demands that the US-headed NATO military alliance end activity in Eastern Europe and Ukraine and demanded a guarantee that NATO never admits Ukraine and other ex-Soviet nations as members.

Tensions between Ukraine and Russia have been mounting since 2014, following Russia annexing Ukraine’s Southern Crimea peninsula. It is being believed that Russia is also backing rebels who seized large swathes of the eastern Donbas region.

US and NATO responses did not address Russia’s fundamental concerns, says Russian President

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday, January 28, that  US and NATO responses did not address Russia’s fundamental concerns such as stopping NATO expansion, not deploying assault weapons near Russia’s border, and more.

However, the Kremlin further said, “Russian side would carefully study the written responses to the draft agreements on security guarantees received from the United States and NATO, after which it would decide on further action.”

The United States and NATO earlier on January 26 submitted their responses to Russia. Addressing the presser over the development US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “The document we’ve delivered includes concerns of the United States and our allies and partners about Russia’s actions that undermine security, a principled and pragmatic evaluation of the concerns that Russia has raised, and our own proposals for areas where we may be able to find common ground.”

“We make clear that there are core principles that we are committed to uphold and defend – including Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and the right of states to choose their own security arrangements and alliances,” Secretary Blinken added.

We will respond decisively, says US President Joe Biden

 Recently during a discussion over the Ukraine situation, US President Joe Biden affirmed his Ukrainian Counterpart President Volodymyr Zelenskyy over Washington’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

US President Joe Biden said, “We will respond decisively- along with our Allies and partners-if Russia further invades Ukraine.”

Reiterating the same, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “The United States and our NATO Allies and partners are united across the board in our commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity- and Kyiv’s right to choose its own security arrangements ad alliances.”

Earlier on January 24, 2022, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a virtual meeting with the leaders of the US, Italy, Poland, France, Germany, the European Council, the European Commission, and NATO to discuss the situation in Ukraine.

During the meeting, the leaders stressed that diplomatic discussions with Russia remain the first priority. According to the statement released by the UK Government, “The leaders agreed on the importance of international unity in the face of growing Russian hostility.”

During the high-level discussion, the world leaders draw upon a common consent, that ‘if a Russian incursion into Ukraine happens, allies must enact swift retributive responses including an unprecedented package of sanctions.

US, UK pull out staff from Ukraine

According to the reports, currently, the US, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada are evacuating some diplomats and their family members from Kyiv amidst the growing war fear.

On the other hand, in response to the development, TASS News Agency quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saying, We will now think about taking precautions to ensure the safety of our diplomats (in Kyiv) since we can expect provocations.

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