Russia may launch military operations on the territory of Ukraine even before the end of the Beijing Olympics, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in Melbourne.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to the US administration, can happen at any time. A military strike is possible, including before the end of the Olympic Games held in Beijing until February 20, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said during a visit to Melbourne on Friday, February 11, where he met with colleagues from Australia, India and Japan.
“Now we are in a time period when an invasion can begin at any moment,” he stressed. At the same time, the head of the American Foreign Ministry indicated that Russia continues to mobilize forces in the regions near the border with Ukraine.
The US Secretary of State again warned of a tough response from Russia
Thus, Blinken refuted the assessments of some experts who consider it unlikely that the military escalation of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine during the Olympics and at the same time point to the arrival of Russian President Vladimir Putin at the opening ceremony. During the visit, he met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, the parties demonstrated unity on international policy issues, AFP notes.
At the same time, Blinken once again warned about the serious consequences of Russia’s possible military aggression against Ukraine. According to him, the West has already outlined a list of tough sanctions, including economic and financial measures, export controls, support for Ukraine and strengthening of NATO.
The USA and Canada urged their citizens to leave Ukraine
The day before, US President Joe Biden called on Americans in Ukraine to leave the country immediately because of the threat of war with the Russian Federation. “We are not dealing with a terrorist organization, but with one of the largest armies in the world. This is a different situation, and everything can quickly get out of control,” he said on NBC. At the same time, Biden indicated that under no scenario is he ready to send the US military to Ukraine to evacuate US citizens, because “when the Americans and the Russians start shooting at each other, it will be a world war.”
Following Washington, the Canadian authorities also called on their citizens to leave Ukraine immediately. The corresponding statement is posted on the website of the Canadian Foreign Ministry.
According to the West, Russia has transferred more than 100,000 troops to the annexed Crimea and to the border with Ukraine. The West is calling on Moscow to withdraw troops from the Ukrainian border and threaten unprecedented sanctions. Russia, on the other hand, accuses Western countries of arming Ukraine and conducting maneuvers near the borders of the Russian Federation, and also demands that it be provided with “security guarantees”. The January series of negotiations between Russia and the United States, NATO and the OSCE brought no results, as did other meetings of representatives of Western countries with the Russian leadership. Joint military exercises with Russia are taking place in Belarus on February 10-20.