Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has told the United States and other countries from the West to stop creating panic among Ukrainian citizens as the reports of an imminent invasion were leading Ukraine’s economy to potentially decline.
“There are signals even from respected leaders of states; they just say that tomorrow there will be war. This is panic—how much does it cost for our state?” the Ukrainian President said in a press conference in Kyiv.
As SOFREP’s Kaj Larsen reported, the threat of an invasion from Russia has led Ukraine’s economy to be somewhat unstable and volatile and could affect the stock market indefinitely. Zelensky, concerned that predictions of invasion threatened to tank Ukraine’s economy, had called President Biden last Thursday with a senior Ukrainian official saying the call did not go well.
This call comes not just because of the economic threat the invasion warnings have posed but also to discuss the recent 8,500 activations of US troops put on high alert in response to the more than 100,000 Russian troops on the Ukrainian-Russian border. Biden, who has asserted that Russian aggression was imminent disagreed with Zelensky, who said that Russia was being ambiguous but admitting that they were still dangerous. On the other hand, the Russian government said that it had no plans to invade Ukraine at the present time and that a war was the last thing the Kremlin wanted to happen.
SOFREP Editor-in-chief Sean Spoonts is skeptical that Russia is prepared or inclined to invade Ukraine, going against mainstream media reports that an invasion is imminent. Spoonts has pointed out that Russia’s demands were not hard ultimatums with deadlines that would see an armed response if not met with, and that Russian demands left room for negotiation and settlement that Russia could claim as victories. Additionally, Russia’s troop strength is well below the level needed to successfully invade a country the size of Ukraine in the dead of winter.
It seems that Ukrainian President Zelensky did want to negotiate these demands and said that the Russian troop build-up along the borders was not more significant than those that had happened in the past. Furthermore, the Ukrainian President wants to pursue a more diplomatic solution to the rising tensions. He had previously said that he was willing to hold meetings with Russian President Putin, a potential meeting that includes President Biden.
On January 28th, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley clarified that the Ukraine crisis could be solved through diplomacy. NATO moves so far in response to the Russian build-up have been very limited and almost perfunctory, Denmark sending just four -16s to Lithuania as an example.
“We strongly encourage Russia to stand down and to pursue a resolution through diplomacy,” Milley stated.
He also claimed that the withdrawal of diplomats of the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia from Ukraine only contributed to the unwanted panic and worsened the destabilization of their country. Measures like these are mix of routine precaution and messaging to the Russians.
However, Zelensky did claim that he and Biden were on good terms and that there were no hostile exchanges between them, stating that:
“We don’t have any misunderstandings with President Biden. I just deeply understand what is going on in my country just as he understands perfectly well what’s going on in the United States.”
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