German chancellor arrives in Ukraine ahead of Russia visit: Live | Ukraine-Russia crisis News


Scholz visits Kyiv, Moscow to try to defuse escalating tensions; US and Ukraine leaders reiterate their commitment to diplomacy.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has arrived in Ukraine in the latest diplomatic push aimed at preventing a Russian invasion.

Monday’s visit comes as Western countries withdraw staff from their embassies in Kyiv, with many of them also urging their citizens to leave immediately.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy have reiterated their commitment to pursuing diplomacy to ease tensions, as the US’s national security adviser warned that Moscow was looking to find a “pretext” for the attack.

Here are the latest updates on the Ukraine-Russia crisis:

Ukraine could drop NATO bid to avoid war: Ambassador

Ukraine could drop its bid to join NATO to avoid war with Russia, the country’s ambassador to Britain said, in what would amount to a major concession to Moscow in response to the build-up of Russian troops on its borders.

Ambassador Vadym Prystaiko told the BBC that Ukraine was willing to be “flexible” over its goal to join the Atlantic military alliance, a move Russian President Vladimir Putin has said would be a trigger for war.

“We might – especially being threatened like that, blackmailed by that, and pushed to it,” Prystaiko was quoted as saying.

German chancellor heads to Kyiv

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz landed in Kyiv on Monday before visiting Moscow to try to head off a “very critical” threat of a Russian invasion.

The visit follows that of French President Emmanuel Macron last week, as Russian troops mass on Ukraine’s borders.

“In the event of a military aggression against Ukraine that threatens its territorial integrity and sovereignty, that will lead to tough sanctions that we have carefully prepared and which we can immediately put into force,” Scholz said before his departure.

War can start “at any time”: US

Russia could invade Ukraine at any time and might create a surprise pretext for an attack, the US said on Sunday, as it reaffirmed a pledge to defend “every inch” of NATO territory.

President Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said an invasion could begin “any day now”.

“We cannot perfectly predict the day, but we have now been saying for some time that we are in the window,” Sullivan told CNN.


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