…US President Joe Biden has warned there is a “distinct possibility” Russia might invade Ukraine
next month, the White House says…
… “China is a bigger threat than Russia to the United States. Taiwan is much more important to the United States than is Ukraine,” Cotton said, while admitting he believes “both Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin want to overturn the United States as the global superpower” even if neither leader feels compelled to “openly coordinate or talk about these actions.”…
…while he [US Secretary of State Antony Blinken] restated several of Washington’s talking points with regard to the confrontation over Ukraine, he declined to go into specifics, arguing that “diplomacy has the best chance to succeed when we provide space for confidential talks.”…
…Earlier on Wednesday, CNN reported that Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania were in discussions with the US to
accept 1,000 American troops each, as part of Washington’s effort to “reassure” NATO members in Eastern Europe and “deter” the alleged Russian invasion of Ukraine. The US intelligence has
heralded such an invasion since late October, though Moscow dismissed it
as “fake news.”
…Mr Blinken said the US response made its “core principles” clear,
including Ukraine’s sovereignty and its right to choose to be part of
security alliances such as Nato…
… Officials say there have been no specific threats to British diplomats, but about
half of the staff working in Kyiv will return to the UK.
The US has ordered relatives of its embassy staff to leave, saying an invasion could come “at any time”.
- DFAT’s travel advice was upgraded to “do not travel” on Monday evening
- DFAT said any Russian military action in Ukraine may severely limit the government’s ability to provide consular assistance
- An estimated 100,000 Russian troops have massed near the border with Ukraine, but Russia says it does not plan to invade the country
… Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese’s WeChat account remains active.
Coalition MP and chair of the parliamentary intelligence and security committee
James Paterson said he believed the move was an act of foreign interference by the Chinese government.
“WeChat is owned by Tencent, which is one of the most closely controlled,
theoretically private companies in China,” he told Sky News…
…The UK has accused President Putin of plotting to install a pro-Moscow figure to lead Ukraine’s government…
…Kay-Achim Schönbach said the idea that Russia wanted to invade Ukraine was nonsense. He added that all President Putin wanted was respect…