The Austrian media have traditionally been somewhat late and sluggish in their response to events in Ukraine and international politics related to the Russian confrontation. However, the popular Austrian Die Presse published information on the chronology of international events and meetings and statements of leading politicians related to the crisis caused by Russia’s aggression around Ukraine.
Emmanuel Macron REUTERS
A meeting of the UN Security Council on the conflict in Ukraine will take place next week. On Friday, January 28, this year Presidents Macron and Putin intend to hold a telephone conversation.
The US government has again called for the closure of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline in the event of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “If Russia invades Ukraine, Nord Stream 2 will not be continued,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price told CNN on Thursday. In this case, cooperation will be carried out with Germany to ensure the shutdown of the pipeline. Price stressed that “the statements of our German allies testify to the decisive measures that the German government is ready and willing to take.”
The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen also stressed that in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russia may be excluded from the Swift payment system and the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline will be suspended. “Nothing has been resolved,” she told CNN in an interview Thursday night when asked about the sanctions. She also stressed that attempts are being made to find a solution at the negotiating table, but they are also preparing for the worst.
The German government has considered all options in case of a Russian attack, and also made it clear that one of the options for influencing Russia could be to stop Nord Stream-2. In recent years, the German-Russian Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea has caused tensions between Germany and the United States.
US President Joe Biden is also rejecting the pipeline. In a joint statement with the United States last July, Germany vowed to step up its support for Ukraine to resolve the dispute with Washington.
Macron: Phone conversation with Putin
French President Emmanuel Macron intends to offer his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin a way to de-escalate the conflict with Ukraine. The heads of the two states will talk about this by phone on Friday, January 28, this year. Macron also sees the conversation as an opportunity to see more accurately what the current situation looks like. The Elysee Palace said that Macron wanted to emphasize once again that the invasion of Russian troops in neighboring Ukraine will have serious consequences.
At the request of the United States, the UN Security Council will also consider the current crisis for the first time. According to the US delegation, the United States of America on Thursday, January 27, this year. invited to hold a UN meeting on Monday, January 31, this year Discussions in New York are scheduled to take place in public, probably at 16:00 Central European Time. “As we continue our relentless diplomacy to de-escalate tensions in the face of this serious threat to European and global peace and security, the UN Security Council is a crucial place for diplomacy,” the US mission said.
Financial assistance to Kyiv
On Thursday, US President Joe Biden again pledged Washington’s support for his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky. The United States is committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, Biden said. The US government is also considering additional financial assistance to Kyiv due to Russian pressure, Biden said in an interview with Zelensky on Thursday, January 27. Biden also said the United States and its allies are ready to respond decisively if Russia attacks Ukraine. At the same time, the US President also stressed his support for the Normandy format talks.
In recent times, Western countries have repeatedly expressed concern that Russian troops may plan to invade a neighboring country. Russia has denied this. The conflict in Ukraine has been going on since 2014. The peace plan in the Donbas crisis zone, agreed with the help of Germany and France, has been suspended.
Only on Wednesday in Paris was a meeting in the so-called “Norman format”, which, in addition to Ukraine and Russia, is attended by mediators from France and Germany. However, according to Germany, no significant progress has been made. However, hopes are expressed to continue negotiations.
The President of Ukraine Zelensky stated on Thursday that “for our state to achieve a stable and unconditional ceasefire in the Donbass today is a priority.” Russia is already pinning its hopes on the next meeting in the Normandy format, to be held in two weeks in Berlin. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Zaitsev said: “We assume that we will find solutions to the problems that have accumulated over the past seven years, and that the status of Donbass will finally be resolved.”
Blinken considers “basic principles”
On Wednesday, NATO and the United States responded in writing to Moscow’s demands for security guarantees in Europe. At Russia’s request to halt NATO’s eastward expansion, neither NATO nor the United States has expressed a desire to negotiate. US Secretary of State Blinken drew attention to “basic principles”, such as the free choice of alliances between states and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
Initially, the Kremlin left the West unanswered as to how Russia would respond to the US and NATO positions. The issue of security guarantees. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that “we will not jump to conclusions.” According to him, President Vladimir Putin has already read the US letter. But it takes “some time” to analyze the papers.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said there was no “positive response to the main issue” of the Russian document. However, Lavrov was ready for talks, given the US response: “There is a certain reaction that allows us to count on the beginning of a serious conversation, but only on minor issues.”
Austria, an economic and political ally of Russia, is involved in the construction and expects dividends from the operation of Nord Stream 2, and is forced to respond to developments surrounding Russia’s aggressive policies. The presentation of well-known events, which were previously covered in the world media, testifies to the forced recognition of the justice and validity of the US, EU and NATO hard line on Moscow and the intentions of military aggression against Ukraine.