The United States on Thursday called on China to intervene in the Ukrainian crisis in a constructive manner to de-escalate tensions with Russia, saying there is a distinct possibility that Moscow could invade Ukraine in February.
State Department spokesman Ned Price reminded a press conference that China has a close relationship with Russia, unlike Western countries, and urged it to use this influence to curb the confrontation.
This is how the United States responded after Beijing entered the political chessboard of the Ukrainian crisis on Thursday with a warning to Washington that it must respect Moscow’s legitimate concerns.
During a call with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi criticized NATO’s military buildup while calling for calm and restraint.
The American government took Beijing at its word in its appeal for calm and reminded it that it can exert influence to avoid a conflict that is not in its interest.
A day after Washington and its NATO partners responded in writing to the security guarantees requested by Moscow, the tense calm continued between the United States and Russia.
Vladimir Putin’s government had demanded that the Atlantic Alliance halt its expansion into Eastern Europe, in particular Ukraine and Georgia, cease military cooperation with former Soviet republics and withdraw troops to the positions they occupied before 1997.
Although the content of the West’s response has not been revealed, the United States has already stated that NATO’s doors remain open to new partners.
The White House continues to maintain that a possible invasion of Ukrainian territory by Russia, which has 100,000 troops deployed on the Ukrainian border, is imminent.
And the Pentagon specified that there are combat teams and infantry units among the 8,500 soldiers it has placed on high alert for deployment in Eastern Europe in the event of an invasion.
These soldiers would be deployed in the countries on NATO’s eastern flank and not in Ukraine, which Washington is assisting by sending weapons but not troops.
Precisely, President Joe Biden, on Thursday, held a call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelenski, to endorse once again Washington’s commitment to the territorial integrity of the European country.
Biden conveyed to Zelenski that there is a distinct possibility that Russia will invade Ukraine in February, and reiterated that this would provoke a decisive response from the United States and its allies, the White House reported after the call.
Biden also told the Ukrainian that he is evaluating the possibility of granting additional macroeconomic support to help Ukraine’s economy, on top of the more than $500 million he has already provided to Kiev.
In another effort to close ranks with its allies, the White House reported Thursday that Biden will receive Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz on February 7.
During the last few days, unity between the United States and the European Union has cooled, as Washington insists on the imminence of an invasion, while the European Union has asked not to dramatize.
This rift has been particularly evident between Washington, which considers it necessary to send arms to Ukraine, and Berlin, which has ruled out this option, citing its role in World War II.
Biden’s spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, however, maintained that all the allies remain united in the objective of supporting Ukraine.