February 15, 2022: -Ukraine has requested a meeting with Russia within 48 hours as U.S. intelligence officials warn that a Russian invasion could start this week.
On Sunday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Russia was not successful in responding to a request Ukraine had filed under the Vienna Document, a treaty signed by 56 member states to maintain military transparency across Europe for a meeting.
“Consequently, we take another step,” Kuleba said in a statement. “We request a meeting with Russia and all participating states within 48 hours to discuss its reinforcement and redeployment with our border and in temporarily occupied Crimea.”
On Sunday, U.S. National security advisor Jake Sullivan told CNN that a Russian attack on Ukraine could happen “any day now.”
“That includes this coming week,” he said.
On Friday, Security officials in Washington, London, and Ukraine told Politico that U.S. intelligence officers had briefed allies last week that the invasion may start on Wednesday, February 16. However, Sullivan said on Sunday that officials “cannot perfectly predict the day.”
Almost 30,000 Russian troops are engaged in a 10-day program of military drills with neighboring Belarus, which shares a border with Ukraine.
The drills have been seen as a display of strength by Russia, come as over 100,000 soldiers, tanks, missiles, and even fresh blood supplies have been moved to Russia’s border with Ukraine.
Russia demands that Ukraine never be permitted to become a member of the NATO military alliance. It wants the organization to roll back its presence in Eastern Europe. Moscow has insisted it has no plans to invade Ukraine.
According to the BBC, Ukraine has also accused Russia of creating a sea blockade, with officials claim that the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea have been blocked by Russian forces, which are set to begin naval drills this week.
Russia invaded Crimea, a peninsula in Ukraine’s south, in 2014. On Monday, Prystaiko told CNBC that the Ukrainian government had not yet responded to Moscow regarding its request for a meeting.
“But that’s not the only way we are trying to get understanding with Russia,” he said. “We have our negotiations — it’s not like we’re relying on what the West is doing for us; we are doing our part.”
He added Ukraine was in a “tough” and “very unfair” situation, noting that the country was still living with the concessions it made under the Vienna Document after Russia invaded Crimea.