Biden not convinced on Russia scaling back its operations in Ukrainian capital

Washington, Mar 30 (PTI) US President Joe Biden on Tuesday appeared to be unconvinced on the Russian announcement that it is scaling back its operations in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital.

“We’ll see. I don’t read anything into it until I see what their actions are,” Biden told reporters at the White House when asked about the Russian announcement on Tuesday that it will fundamentally scale back its military operations near Kyiv and another northern city in Ukraine.

“We’ll see if they follow through on what they’re suggesting. There are negotiations that have begun and continued today. One in Turkey and others,” he said, adding that he had a meeting with the heads of state of France, Germany and the Great Britain.

There seems to be a consensus that let’s just see what they have to offer. “We’ll find out what they do. But in the meantime, we’re going to continue to keep the sanctions strong. We’re going to continue to provide the Ukrainian military with the capacity to defend themselves,” Biden said.

Addressing a joint news conference with Biden, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore said his country strongly condemned the unprovoked attack by Russia on Ukraine.

“The sovereignty, political independence, and territorial integrity of all countries, big and small, must be respected,” he said.

“The unprovoked military invasion of a sovereign country under any pretext is unacceptable. We cannot condone any country arguing that another country’s independence is the result of historical errors and crazy decisions. I shared with President Biden the measures that Singapore has taken to constrain Russia’s capacity to conduct war against Ukraine,” Lee said.

Earlier during the call, involving Biden, President Emmanuel Macron of France, Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, Prime Minister Mario Draghi of Italy, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom, the leaders affirmed their determination to continue raising costs on Russia for its brutal attacks in Ukraine, as well as to continue supplying Ukraine with security assistance to defend itself against the unjustified and unprovoked assault.

“They reviewed their efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the millions affected by the violence, both inside Ukraine and seeking refuge in other countries, and underscored the need for humanitarian access to civilians in Mariupol. They also discussed the importance of supporting stable energy markets in light of current disruptions due to sanctions,” the White House said in readout of the call.


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