Western leaders urge Russia to lower Ukraine tensions
The US, UK, France, Germany, and Italy have pledged to use tools at their disposal to back Ukraine amid fears of a Russian invasion. Western powers have called on Russia to lower tensions with Ukraine over the past few weeks as the situation escalates. Moscow has denied any plans to attack. US President Joe Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin spoke over a video conference this week, according to reports. Russia has moved thousands of troops near Ukraine’s eastern borders, and the country states that tanks have been transported to the front line inside its territory.
Hours before the video conference, Washington indicated that it was not planning a US military response but was rather looking towards tough economic sanctions as a method of deterrence and de-escalation between the two countries. The five Western leaders have allegedly formed a joint strategy that would impose severe harm on the Russian economy should there be an invasion of Ukraine. The countries pledged to support Ukraine’s territorial integrity, according to media outlets. Possible economic sanctions include restrictions on Russia’s banks converting roubles into foreign currencies or disconnecting the country from the Swift global financial payment system.