Amid a spike in fear the Russian leader Vladimir Putin will let his troops do his talking, Russia poured cold water on talk of a summit between Putin and President Joe Biden.
From Sunday through early Monday, President Emmanuel Macron of France tried to broker a meeting between Putin and Biden as a way to avert war on the eastern border of the NATO alliance, according to The New York Times.
And in a statement Sunday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said talks were fine as long as Russian forces did not launch an offensive.
“As the President has repeatedly made clear, we are committed to pursuing diplomacy until the moment an invasion begins. Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Lavrov are scheduled to meet later this week in Europe, provided Russia does not proceed with military action,” Psaki said in the statement.
“President Biden accepted in principle a meeting with President Putin following that engagement, again, if an invasion hasn’t happened. We are always ready for diplomacy. We are also ready to impose swift and severe consequences should Russia instead choose war.
“And currently, Russia appears to be continuing preparations for a full-scale assault on Ukraine very soon.”
The French government issued a similar statement, according to Politico, though it went further in describing the Russian position.
“Presidents Biden and Putin have each in principle accepted such a summit,” a statement from the Elysee Palace declared, Politico reported.
Not so fast, Putin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said Monday.
“It’s clear that tensions are rising,” Peskov said, according to the Times. “It’s too early to talk about concrete plans for organizing any summits.”
Peskov said Putin would meet Monday with Russia’s Security Council, followed by a speech and calls with world leaders, according to Politico.
As White House & Kremlin downplay prospects for a Biden-Putin summit, Jake Sullivan warns Russians are planning “extremely violent” attack that won’t simply be “conventional war.” “It will be a war waged by Russia on the Ukrainian people, to repress them, to crush them,” he says.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) February 21, 2022
A letter from Bathsheba Crocker, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, claimed Russia has a list of those it will silence after an invasion of Ukraine, according to The Washington Post.
“I would like to bring to your attention disturbing information recently obtained by the United States that indicates that human rights violations and abuses in the aftermath of a further invasion are being planned,” Crocker wrote to the U.N. High Commission on Refugees
“These acts, which in past Russian operations have included targeted killings, kidnappings/forced disappearances, unjust detentions, and the use of torture, would likely target those who oppose Russian actions, including Russian and Belarusian dissidents in exile in Ukraine, journalists and anti-corruption activists, and vulnerable populations such as religious and ethnic minorities and LGBTQI+ persons,” she wrote.
“Specifically, we have credible information that indicates Russian forces are creating lists of identified Ukrainians to be killed or sent to camps following a military occupation,” she wrote. “We also have credible information that Russian forces will likely use lethal measures to disperse peaceful protests or otherwise counter peaceful exercises of perceived resistance from civilian populations.”
Peskov denied the claim, according to NBC.
“I know that this is fiction, there is no such list,” he said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.