The risk of a Russian ‘aggression’ against Ukraine remains, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and US President Joe Biden said after a long telephone call on Wednesday, news agency MIA writes.
The two leaders agreed that the situation in the region should be considered extremely serious in view of the massive Russian troop deployment in the border area with Ukraine, German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said.
The leaders agreed that a significant withdrawal of Russian troops had not been observed so far, and the highest level of vigilance was required, he added.
The White House said that Biden and Scholz “reaffirmed their commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and underscored the importance of continued transatlantic coordination on diplomacy anddeterrence measures and the reinforcement of NATO‘s eastern flank if Russia further invades Ukraine.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also said he sees no sign that Russia is withdrawing its forces from the Ukrainian border area.
“We are seeing small rotations. I would not call these rotations the withdrawal of forces by Russia,” he told a public broadcaster.
It is still too early to rejoice, he said. NATO on Wednesday dismissed Russia’s claims to be pulling back soldiers from the Ukrainian border area and announced plans to possibly station allied troops in south-eastern Europe – a move liable to draw the ire of Moscow.