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Johnson warns Putin against “any strategic mistake” in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed the crisis in Ukraine over the phone on Monday evening.

The British government said in a statement that Johnson had spoken to President Putin on Monday and asked him to “reduce tensions” with Ukraine.

British Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has warned that any military intervention would be a “strategic mistake.”

Johnson, in a phone call, “expressed British concern over the strengthening of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine and reiterated the importance of working through diplomatic channels to reduce tensions,” the British government statement added.

For its part, the Kremlin’s communicative content revealed that the Russian president had assured Johnson that Ukrainian authorities would take a detrimental approach to undermining the Minsk agreements and escalating tensions in the conflict zone in Donbass.

He said Moscow wanted immediate talks with the West to prevent NATO’s potential eastern expansion.

“There is an urgent need to begin negotiations with the aim of further NATO expansion in the East and neighboring countries, primarily in Ukraine, with the aim of concluding clear international legal agreements preventing the deployment of weapons threatening Russia,” Putin said. .

The British warning came just hours after US President John Biden threatened the Russian president that he would face “catastrophic consequences” if he decided to invade Ukraine.

Biden confirmed that his country would send more US and NATO troops to defend Kiev against any Russian attack, amid mounting tensions between the United States and Russia over the Ukraine crisis.

Washington has announced that US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Danfried will visit Kiev and Moscow from December 13 to 15.

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The US State Department said in a statement on Sunday that Danfred would travel to Kiev and Moscow to meet with government officials to discuss increasing Russia’s military capabilities and strengthening the United States’ commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

Donfried plans to travel to Brussels on December 15-16 to hold consultations with NATO allies and EU partners on efforts to find a diplomatic alliance on the Ukraine issue.

During a meeting of the Group of Seven in the United Kingdom on Saturday, the United States reiterated Russia’s call for an end to tensions with Ukraine, insisting that major Western powers were prepared to impose tough sanctions on Moscow in the event of an attack.

A US official in Liverpool attended a meeting of foreign ministers and said the new Ukrainian crisis could be further resolved through diplomacy. Washington, Europeans and Kiev Moscow have been preparing for a possible invasion of Ukraine for weeks, which the Kremlin denies.

Despite the increased tension, Presidents Biden and Putin decided to appoint their committees to pursue the file to examine the success of the diplomatic effort. The arrival of Karen Dunfried is the first step on this path.