As tensions of Russian invasion loom over Ukraine, Russia’s envoy to the European Union (EU), Vladimir Chizhov has dismissed the suggestions that his country is about to attack Ukraine. From embassies of western nations in Kyiv authorising the departure of officials to governments announcing extra aid to Kyiv, the Russia-Ukraine tensions have continued to escalate especially in recent days.

New York Times had even cited a US intelligence source as saying that Moscow was discussing 16 February as a date for military action in Ukraine. But, Chizhov has rejected the remarks published by NYT. Russian ambassador to the EU told Die Welt, “As far as Russia is concerned, I can assure you that there will be no attack this Wednesday.”

“There will be no escalation in the coming week either, or in the week after that, or in the coming month…Wars in Europe rarely start on a Wednesday,” Chizhov added, according to DW.

It is pertinent to note that similar remarks have been made by Moscow’s ambassador to Brussels in December. But since then, US officials have said their intelligence has revealed that Russia could be planning to attack Ukraine before Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 could end. Most recently, on Tuesday, as Russia claimed that it has withdrawn troops from the border near Ukraine, the US was quick to refute the drawdown saying it can not “verify” it yet.

The Russian defence ministry had said that it had pulled back some of its troops from the Ukrainian border. But, US President Joe Biden later said that Russian troops are still in a “threatening position”. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday had said that “of course” Russia did not want a war. He called for the resolution to the conflict through the Minsk peace process.

The Russian President said that Moscow decided to partially withdraw the troops deployed near Ukraine border as he saw some room for further discussion with the West on Moscow’s security proposals. But, the Russian President noted that there was no constructive response to its security demands.

Ukraine on Russia’s military drawdown

As Russia continues to reiterate its claim of drawing down its military from the border, Ukraine has vowed to “believe it when we see it”. Ukrainian officials have said that they would not take Moscow at its word. Even US and NATO have said that they can not yet “verify” the Kremlin’s claims of withdrawal of Russian troops.

As per the report, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, “Many statements are constantly being made from [Russia], so we have a rule: we’ll believe it when we see it…If we see the withdrawal then we will believe in de-escalation.”

Image: AP