Latest from Ukraine: Russia sends six warships to the Black Sea

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Lithuanian Prime Minister almost walks past Number 10 as Boris Johnson greets her at Downing Street door

Six Russian warships are heading to the Black Sea from the Mediterranean for naval exercises, the Russian Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday.

According to Interfax news agency, the drills are part of a pre-planned movement of military assets.

Russia announced last month that its navy would hold an extensive series of exercises involving all of its fleets in January and February, from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean.

It comes as Joe Biden and Olaf Scholz warned that the “high price” Russia would pay if it invaded Ukraine would include the end of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

On his first trip to the White House as German chancellor, Mr Scholz said Berlin and Washington “will be united” in their response to an incursion by Moscow, after the US president warned they would “end the £8.3 billion project. if Russian troops cross the Ukrainian border.

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Macron meets Ukrainian Zelensky after his visit to Moscow

Emmanuel Macron has arrived at the Mariinskyi Palace in Kyiv to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as tension on the border with Russia persists.

The French president is on a diplomatic mission which saw him travel to Moscow yesterday to talk with Vladimir Putin about a possible de-escalation of the crisis which has seen Russia move more than 100,000 troops to the Ukrainian border.

Both leaders said more talks were needed. Mr Putin said the US and NATO had ignored Russian security demands at the heart of the dispute, but signaled he was willing to continue negotiations.

Mr Macron is due to call the Russian President today after his meeting with Mr Zelensky.

Liam JamesFebruary 8, 2022 1:04 p.m.

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Watch: Lithuanian PM almost walks past Number 10 as Boris Johnson greets her at Downing Street door

Lithuanian Prime Minister jumps as Boris Johnson greets her at Downing Street door

Thomas KingleyFebruary 8, 2022 11:42 am

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Talks with Putin averted further escalation over Ukraine – Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron, after his meeting with Russia’s Putin, told reporters on Tuesday that the talks had achieved the goal of preventing a further escalation of the security crisis over Ukraine.

Macron, in his remarks on the meeting, also said he never thought “for a second” that Putin was ready to make a move.

Thomas KingleyFebruary 8, 2022 11:26 am

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Why does Russia want to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO?

Tensions continue to rise along the border between Russia and Ukraine, where Moscow has reinforced its military presence, estimated at around 106,000 soldiers.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied plans to invade the neighboring state, but presented a series of demands to the West, including an end to the eastern expansion of NATO membership to states ex-Soviets and the reduction in the military activity of the United States and NATO. at the gates of Russia.

Our reporter, Joe Sommerladhas the full story below:

Thomas KingleyFebruary 8, 2022 10:38 am

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Ukraine’s foreign minister says he’s ready to negotiate but ‘will not cross his red lines’

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Kiev was ready to negotiate with Russia but “will not cross its red lines and no one can force us to do so”.

Ahead of French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Kyiv today, Mr Kuleba said he was looking forward to the prospects for the French Prime Minister’s talks with Mr Putin.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, center, and European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell fly by helicopter to the eastern Luhansk region at Kharkiv airport

(AP)

Thomas KingleyFebruary 8, 2022 10:08

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Russia says six warships are heading to the Black Sea for drills

Six Russian warships are heading to the Black Sea from the Mediterranean for naval exercises, the Interfax The news agency cited the Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday in what it said was a pre-planned movement of military assets.

Russia announced last month that its navy would hold an extensive series of drills involving all of its fleets in January and February, from the Pacific to the Atlantic, the latest show of force in a spike in military activity during a standoff. with the West.

(Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)

Thomas KingleyFebruary 8, 2022 9:40 a.m.

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Macron visits Kiev after talks with Putin

Macron is due to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as fears of a possible Russian invasion grow.

The Kremlin has demanded guarantees from the West that NATO will not accept Ukraine and other former Soviet nations as members, stop weapons deployments there and roll back its forces from Europe of the East – demands that the United States and NATO reject as non-starters.

In recent weeks, Western leaders have engaged in high-level diplomacy in hopes of defusing tensions and preventing an attack.

Macron sat down with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday for talks that lasted more than five hours. After the lengthy meeting, the two leaders stressed the need for more talks, while registering their disagreements.

French President Emmanuel Macron (Yoan Valat, Pool Photo via AP)

(AP)

Thomas KingleyFebruary 8, 2022 9:23 a.m.

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Paris says Putin has agreed not to launch any new maneuvers near Ukraine for now

Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed not to carry out new military initiatives near Ukraine for the time being as a precursor to possible de-escalation, a French official said after Putin held talks with Frenchman Emmanuel Macron .

The Russian leader, according to the French official, also agreed that troops taking part in a military exercise on Belarusian territory near the borders of Ukraine would be withdrawn once these war games are over.

Putin himself did not mention such concessions when addressing the media after his six-hour talks with Macron in the Kremlin on Monday night.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and French President Emmanuel Macron (right) meet at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia February 7, 2022

(EPA)

Thomas KingleyFebruary 8, 2022 08:50

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The six Royal Navy destroyers in port amid heightened tensions with Russia

The Royal Navy’s six state-of-the-art Type 45 destroyers are currently moored in port, at a time of heightened tensions with Russia

The guided missile destroyers have been plagued with engine problems since their launch, with ships of the class currently undergoing a power improvement project (PIP).

Announced in 2018, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said it is intended to “provide a robust solution to the power and propulsion issues seen in the Type 45”.

Read the full report below:

Thomas KingleyFebruary 8, 2022 8:35 a.m.

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Invading Ukraine will only strengthen NATO, Johnson warns for Putin

Boris Johnson has warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that invading Ukraine will backfire and only serve to strengthen NATO

The Prime Minister said he was considering sending RAF Typhoon fighters and Royal Navy warships to protect south-eastern Europe after sending 350 British troops to Poland.

Mr Johnson, writing to The temperaturesaid the UK “will not flinch now” and that Britain will remain “unconditional and unwavering” in its support for the NATO defense alliance.

Read the full story below:

Thomas KingleyFebruary 8, 2022 8:15 a.m.

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