Following Russian missile drills and Vice President Kamala Harris’s meetings in Munich, President Joe Biden will convene the National Security Council Sunday, according to the White House.
“President Biden continues to monitor the evolving situation in Ukraine, and is being updated regularly about events on the ground by his national security team,” stated White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki in a Saturday press release from the White House. “They reaffirmed that Russia could launch an attack against Ukraine at any time.”
“This afternoon, the President received an update on the Vice President’s meetings at the Munich Security Conference with President Zelenskyy of Ukraine, European Commission President von der Leyen, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg, leaders of the Baltic states (Prime Minister Kallas of Estonia, President Levits of Latvia, and President Nauseda of Lithuania), Chancellor Scholz of Germany, Prime Minister Mitsotakis of Greece, and leaders of other Allies and partners,” the statement continues, closing with the announcement that Sunday, “the President will convene a meeting of the National Security Council on the situation in Ukraine.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the Munich Security Conference amid the threat of a possible Russian invasion into Ukraine.Zelenskyy stressed that Europe's appeasement of Russia has led to this crisis and a war in Ukraine should also be considered a"war in EU pic.twitter.com/A2sOoQ6hbv
— World News 24 (@DailyWorld24) February 19, 2022
In her Saturday speech in front of the Munich Security Conference, Vice President Kamala Harris said, “Not since the end of the Cold War has this forum convened under such dire circumstances.”
“Today, as we are all well aware, the foundation of European security is under direct threat in Ukraine,” Harris continued.
Harris stated the United States and Europe are “equally committed” to the principles “that people have a right to choose their own form of government; that nations have a right to choose their own alliances; that there are inalienable rights which governments must protect; that the rule of law should be cherished; that sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states must be respected; and that national borders should not be changed by force.”
“The backbone of this, of course, is NATO — the greatest military alliance the world has ever seen,” she added.
Harris then went on to describe the Russian “playbook” and discuss potential Russian false flag events.
Today in Munich, I made it clear that the United States stands with Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and all of our NATO allies. pic.twitter.com/7N2LqUkkXj
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) February 18, 2022
“As we have said all along, there is a playbook of Russian aggression,” she stated. “And this playbook is too familiar to us all.”
“Russia will plead ignorance and innocence, it will create a false pretext for invasion, and it will amass troops and firepower in plain sight,” Harris said. “We now receive reports of what appears to be provocations. And we see Russia spreading disinformation, lies, and propaganda.”
But in his remarks before the same conference, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his frustration with European leaders and the United Nations, who have so far offered a lot of talk, but little action.
“Three years ago, it was here that Angela Merkel said: ‘Who will pick up the pieces of the world order? Only all of us together!’ The audience gave a standing ovation. But, unfortunately, the collective applause did not grow into collective action,” Zelenskyy stated.
Zelenskyy made it clear that Ukraine will defend itself, adding that any meaningful assistance from Europe should not be seen as charity. Indeed, according to Zelenskyy, he shouldn’t have to even ask for it.
“We will defend our land,” he stated. “Having support from partners or not. Having been given hundreds of modern weapons or 5,000 helmets. We appreciate any help, but everyone should understand that these are NOT charitable contributions which Ukraine should ask for or remind about. Not fine gestures which Ukraine should bow low for. This is your contribution to the security of Europe and the world. And Ukraine has been a shield for eight years. For eight years, it has been holding back one of the largest armies in the world.”
“This army stands along our borders, not those of the EU,” he continued. “And the GRAD missiles were fired on Mariupol, not European cities. And after almost six-month fighting, the airport in Donetsk, not in Frankfurt, was destroyed. And it’s always hot in the industrial area of Avdivka, ot in Montmartre. And no European country knows what it is like to hold military funerals in all regions every day. And no European leader knows what it is like to hold regular meetings with the families of the killed ones.”
Ukraine’s President went on to say his country does not need to hear about “dates of a possible invasion” from foreign leaders.
“To really help Ukraine, you don’t have to constantly talk about the dates of a possible invasion,” he stated. “We will defend our land on February 16, March 1, and December 31. We need other dates much more. And everyone understands perfectly well which dates I am talking about. Tomorrow Ukraine marks the Day of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred,” he added, referring to the 130 protesters killed during the Revolution of Dignity in February 2014.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Deputy UN Ambassador told Sky News the entire issue is being overblown and Russia has no faith in British diplomacy.
“There is always room for diplomacy, but frankly, we don’t trust British diplomacy,” Dmitry Polyanskiy said. “I think in recent years British diplomacy has shown that it is absolutely worthless.”
While Polyanskiy said he “doesn’t want to offend anybody,” he stated US and UK intel claiming 130,000 Russian troops have massed on the Ukrainian border is being inflated.
“I don’t know where they take these figures from and we have absolutely no trust in the intelligence data from the US and from the UK,” he said.
“I think this is the same intelligence that claimed that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction,” he added. “The hysteria doesn’t stop, it’s absolutely happening in the heads of Western politicians and not really on the ground.”
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