There are signs that the Kremlin is accepting diplomatic solutions for Ukraine, but intelligence agencies “have not been encouraged yet,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday.
Diplomatic efforts will prevail shortly after NATO Secretary-General Jason Stoltenberg says the signal from Moscow has given “some reason for cautious optimism.”
Moscow said on Monday that the talks “cannot continue indefinitely” but are ready to continue. Also on Tuesday, ridiculing repeated western warnings about the oncoming aggression, it announced that some Russian troops had returned to their bases as planned after exercises near Ukraine.
The signal evoked a positive reaction in the market, but encountered a vigilant reaction from Western governments and experts.
After an emergency ministerial meeting on Tuesday, the British Prime Minister said the information he received was “not yet encouraged,” although there are some welcome signs.
“Last night, there are clear signs of diplomatic openness this day, there is always a chance to talk, and there is a basis for discussing Ukraine with Ukraine, which is good. We see the openness to Russian conversation. On the other hand, the intelligence we are seeing today has not yet been encouraged, “Johnson told reporters.
He said the Kremlin was sending a “mixed signal” as intelligence agencies suggested that more battalion tactical groups were “approaching the border.”
When asked what the escalation would be, Johnson said, “Rather than building a field hospital between Belarus and Ukraine, we need to withdraw the battalion’s tactical group from the stage of potential conflict. He said there was. The frets were over and conversations and negotiations had begun. “
Less than an hour after Johnson’s remarks, Stoltenberg told a press conference in Brussels that Moscow’s “willingness to continue diplomatic efforts” gesture gave “some reason for cautious optimism.” But NATO has not yet seen “signs of a decline in Russia.” Military presence on the Ukrainian border. “
Konrad Muzyka, director of Poland-based Rochan consultancy, told Reuters that it would take several days to verify the latest movements via satellite imagery.
Commercial satellite images taken on Sunday and Monday showed a surge in Russian military activity in several parts of the suburbs of Ukraine, according to a US private company that released the photos.
US-based Maxar Technologies noted the arrival of several large-scale deployments of military and attack helicopters, as well as new deployments of forward ground attack and fighter-bomber.
Russia gathered about 130,000 troops and artillery and other heavy equipment near the Ukrainian border, but the Kremlin denied plans for an attack, saying military action was to maintain security against NATO’s aggression. ..
Moscow called on the United States and its allies to make a binding promise not to accept Ukraine into NATO. Russia also wants the alliance to stop deploying weapons to Ukraine and roll back troops from Eastern Europe.
However, Washington and NATO rejected those requests.
Stoltenberg said on Tuesday that NATO’s doors were “remaining open” to Ukraine and the alliance was “strongly believing.”[s] It means that every country has the right to choose its own path. “
Johnson said that if Russia invades Ukraine, Britain will sanction “certain Russian banks” and “Russian companies”, “peeling off the Russian corporate ownership facade, and Russian companies in London finance. We will take steps to prevent it from raising funds. ” market. “
Tom Ozimek and Reuters contributed to this report.