What you need to know in an escalating crisis

WARSAW – World leaders have condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin and prepared to impose sanctions on his administration on Tuesday as he stepped up fears of war with legislation that would allow troops to be stationed in rebel-controlled regions of eastern Ukraine.

From the hastily convened meeting of the UN Security Council to capitals around the world, leaders condemned Putin’s recognition of the two pro-Russian regions and the order to send troops there. They warned of the global consequences of the conflict in Ukraine.

A vague decree signed by Putin on Monday late Monday did not say whether Russian troops were moving, and he saw his order as an attempt to “maintain peace”. Lawmakers in the Kremlin-controlled parliament are likely to stamp legislation that allows troops to be used in separatist regions in an area known as Donbass.

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The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky sought to project calm, telling the country in an address at night: “We are not afraid of anyone or anything.”

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations dismissed as “nonsense” Putin’s statement that Russian troops would act as peacekeepers, saying their presence was “clearly the basis for Russia’s attempt to create a basis for further invasions of Ukraine.”

On Monday, the White House issued an order banning U.S. investment and trade in separatist regions. On Tuesday, the United States, Britain and the European Union were to announce additional measures – possible sanctions.

Here is a look at the latest developments in the security crisis in Eastern Europe:

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN EASTERN UKRAINE?

Armored convoys were seen in separatist-controlled areas late Monday. It was not immediately clear whether they were Russian.

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Russian officials have not yet acknowledged the deployment of troops in the east of the rebels, but Vladislav Brig, a member of the local separatist council in Donetsk, told reporters that Russian troops had already entered, taking up positions in the north and west of the region.

The legislation, which is expected to pass through both chambers of the Russian parliament on Tuesday, envisions military ties, including the possible creation of Russian military bases in separatist regions.

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson said that “all the evidence that President Putin is really committed to a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, capture, subjugation of an independent, sovereign European country, and I think let’s be absolutely clear that would be absolutely catastrophic. ».

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IS THERE STILL A PLACE FOR DIPLOMACY?

About 150,000 Russian troops gathered on three sides of Ukraine warned on Friday that Putin had already decided to invade. However, President Joe Biden and Putin had previously agreed to a meeting mediated by French President Emmanuel Macron in a last-ditch attempt to avoid war.

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However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that “it is too early to talk about specific plans for the summit.”

Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations, Sergei Kislitsa, told the Security Council on Monday night: “We are committed to a political and diplomatic settlement and do not succumb to provocations.”

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WHAT DOES THE EU DO?

European Union foreign ministers are due to meet on Tuesday to decide what sanctions to impose on Russia’s decision to recognize the two separatist regions, the bloc’s 27-nation bloc chief diplomat said.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Joseph Barrel said that the goal was not to impose the full range of sanctions that the EU had prepared in case of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but to recognize Donetsk and Luhansk as independent.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian spoke clearly about the purpose of the meeting in Paris.

“Obviously, we will take the initiative to impose sanctions,” he said.

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The UK, which is no longer part of the EU, will follow suit.

Johnson said Britain would impose “immediate” economic sanctions on Russia. He said the sanctions would be aimed at “Russia’s economic interests as much as we can”, and told reporters that the package would be “only the first flurry of UK economic sanctions against Russia”.

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WHAT HAPPENED TO THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL?

UN – Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN has demanded that Russia revoke the recognition of the independence of separatist regions in the east of the country, immediately withdraw its “occupation troops” and return to negotiations.

This was announced by Sergei Kislits on Monday evening emergency meeting of the UN Security Council On Monday, Ukraine convened a rare evening session to protest and condemn Putin’s “illegal and illegitimate” decision to recognize separatist-controlled regions.

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Kislitsa said that Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders “have been and will remain unchanged, regardless of any statements and actions of the Russian Federation.”

He said Putin’s moves “can be seen” as Russia’s unilateral withdrawal from the Minsk agreements, which aimed to restore peace in eastern Ukraine, and ignore the Norman format, which includes Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany, which have tried to settle the G8. -year war in the east.

Linda Thomas Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, dismissed “as nonsense” Putin’s assertion that Russian troops would be in the Donbas as peacekeepers. She said he had given the world a choice and he “shouldn’t take his eyes off it” because “history tells us that looking the other way in the face of such hostility would be far more costly”.

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AP authors around the world have contributed to this report.

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Follow the AP’s coverage of tensions between Russia and Ukraine on /hub/russia-ukraine

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