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    Europe is in an “absolutely precarious situation.” Is an armed conflict a foregone conclusion?

    German Foreign Ministry chief Annalena Baerbock believes that Europe is in an “absolutely precarious situation” in the face of Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. So far, however, “there are no signs that an armed conflict is a foregone conclusion,” Baerbock said on Sunday night on the ARD television program “Tagesthemen.” Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine in recent months. Moscow denies any plans to attack but says it feels threatened by NATO.

    “We are trying actions through all channels to keep Russia at the negotiating table. But if there is a military attack by Russia on Ukraine, strict economic sanctions will be imposed,” the minister assured. “We are not afraid of the consequences, Russia has to be aware of the fact,” that a potential strike would have “incredibly large consequences for Russia,” she added.

     

    Germany’s talks with Russia continue, with Chancellor Olaf Scholz travelling to Kyiv on Monday for mediation talks and Moscow on Tuesday. The secret service allegedly received a signal about a possible Russian attack on Tuesday, “Die Welt” has written

     

    “It’s important to talk about the next steps in disarmament and more transparency on both sides. Military conflicts are the worst thing for all of us in the heart of Europe,” Baerbock stressed, adding that the West is always ready for talks.

     

    “According to information from informed circles, the U.S. and European secret services have acquired new clues about the possible timing of a Russian attack on Ukraine,” “Die Welt” learns.

     

    “Planned Ukrainian military exercises on Tuesday may give Moscow an excuse. “The United States has long assumed that Russia was planning such an operation. The excuse for invading Ukraine would be a fake attack on its territory,” writes the newspaper.

     

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenski has invited US President Joe Biden to visit Kyiv. “I am confident that your visit to Kyiv in the coming days (…) would be a strong signal and would help stabilize the situation,” Zelensky is quoted as saying by the Ukrainian president’s office.

     

    Notwithstanding the calls of individual governments for their citizens to leave Ukraine, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) wants to continue its monitoring mission in Donbas. At the same time, it was emphasized that the safety of OSC staff was given the highest priority.

     

    As part of the OSCE mission, “hundreds of international observers” have been being stationed in Ukraine since 2014 to monitor the ceasefire agreed between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government troops in eastern Ukraine, “Die Welt” recalls.

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