Concern about new developments in the Ukraine conflict is growing in the West. Russia has significantly increased its military presence within a short period of time.
Moscow – Vladimir Putin has followed up the announcements with deeds. On Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced plans to move warships into the Black Sea. A total of 15 warships then passed the Kerch Strait on the Crimean peninsula on Saturday (April 17). You should take part in maneuvers that can extend over months. For this undefined period of time, sea areas around the Crimea are to remain closed. This action comes at a time when the US has announced new sanctions against Russia.
According to Russian information, other shipping should not be affected by this deployment. However, concerns about current developments are growing internationally. The German press agency quotes a high-ranking EU official who speaks of an “extremely worrying development”. Not only the drastically increased military presence around the Crimea is causing concern, but also a previous Russian troop deployment on the eastern border of Ukraine. There parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk areas on the Russian border are still controlled by separatists.
Ukraine sees “demonstration of strength” behind Putin’s troop deployment
The head of the Ukrainian military operation, Sergei Najew, however, indicated that he does not expect a new war. “We don’t see any preparations for the attack,” he said on Saturday night on Ukrainian television. “In military language we speak of a demonstration of strength.”
Angela Merkel calls for withdrawal – Putin is sending more Russian military
This demonstration did not go uncommented in Berlin and Paris either. Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron called on Vladimir Putin on Friday to withdraw the troops. During a conversation with the Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Selenskyj, they expressed concern about the current development. The Russian plans for military maneuvers in the Black Sea, and thus a next stage of escalation in the conflict, follows regardless of this appeal.
Relations between Ukraine and Russia are also strained by another incident. A Ukrainian diplomat was arrested in St. Petersburg. The consul of the Ukrainian Consulate General, Alexander Sosonjuk, was caught trying to obtain “confidential information” from a Russian citizen. (rm with dpa)
List of rubric lists: © dpa / Alexei Druzhinin
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