On Friday, President Volodymyr Zelensky had a video conference call with 20 US senators and members of Congress, amid rising tensions with Russia, which has lately raised concerns of an invasion by massing soldiers along Ukraine’s border.
Tension Between Ukraine President Together with US lawmakers against Russia
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who was on the call with Zelensky as co-chairman of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, said the chat covered a range of themes, including Russia’s danger to its borders, Zelensky’s gratitude for US military support, and his opposition to the Nord Stream 2 project. Portman said that it’s a perfect time he can speak directly with President Zelenskyy about the issue over Russia’s continuous force buildup along the Ukraine-Russia border. Zelensky also said right after the call that he informed the US delegation comprised of senators and congressmen on actions being taken to achieve peace within established discussion procedures.
Moreover, the tensions between Moscow and Washington have risen as Russia has bolstered its army presence along the Ukrainian border. The increase reinforced Western countries’ fears that Russia was plotting an assault. Earlier this year, US intelligence discovered that Russia was plotting a military strike against Ukraine that might begin as early as next year. According to the intelligence paper acquired by The Washington Post, the attack would include the deployment of 175,000 soldiers along the border.
Russia Denied the Allegation
According to Reuters, about 10,000 Russian militaries withdrew from regions bordering Ukraine on Saturday and returned to permanent locations. The news service quoted the Interfax news agency of the Russian military. Additionally, Zelensky said that his goal is to put a stop to the bloodshed in eastern Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has also pressured the US for assurances that NATO would not extend east to Ukraine. Ukraine and the Western allies have reacted angrily to the proposal. According to the Associated Press, Zelensky also said that “no other nation can have a role in Ukraine’s NATO integration,” adding that “there can be no Ukraine accords without Ukraine.”
President Biden talked via video conference earlier this month with Russian President Vladimir Putin, during which the two leaders addressed Moscow’s concerns with Kyiv. Biden advised Putin against invading Ukraine, warning that Russia would face economic costs if Moscow launched an invasion. Biden also mentioned the possibility of de-escalating the issue diplomatically with the United States and other European nations.