Diplomacy off as Macron’s peace meeting between Biden and Putin CANCELLED

Russia: Putin ‘will not stop at Ukraine’ says Liz Truss

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The French President had made numerous calls and visits to Moscow in an attempt to set a meeting, which the White House conditionally accepted should certain conditions be met. However, with Russia now officially recognising two separatist regions in Eastern Ukraine, the hope of talks are now off the table.

Confirming the news, White House press officer Jen Psaki said the ongoing crisis surrounding Ukraine must be resolved prior to dialogue.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken has also cancelled a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, which had been planned for Thursday in Geneva.

Mr Blinken said talks no longer makes sense since the US believes a Russian invasion of Ukraine has begun.

Russia claims they have no intention of invading Ukraine, and current assets in Eastern rebel states are involved in peacekeeping roles.

The US has launched a wave of sanctions towards Russia in a move to gain international support from US allies around the world.

Measures include cutting off Russia’s government from Western financing and will affect Russian banks, oligarchs, and the country’s sovereign debt.

Mr Biden told reporters the Kremlin was “setting up a rationale to take more territory by force” and he suggested Moscow would “pay an even steeper price if it continues its aggression”.

He added Russian troops being ordered to eastern Ukraine marked the “beginning of an invasion.”

The US president also said he had authorised the movement of additional troops and equipment to support Nato allies Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

President Biden has yet to fully implement the full spectrum of sanction powers available to him on Russia.

Further measures might include an export ban, that would deny American technology for Russia’s industries and military, as well as blocking Moscow’s access to the international payment system known as SWIFT.

Ukraine said on Wednesday it would introduce a state of emergency across the country, apart from the separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, and called on its citizens to immediately leave Russia, as fears continued all-out war was imminent.

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Russia is seeking guarantees Ukraine will never be allowed to join the military alliance of NATO.

However, Kiev has expressed a strong interest in doing so, and NATO has stated they operate an open door policy to those wishing to join the pact.

Mr Putin has also called on the international community to officially recognise Crimea as part of Russia, as well as demanding Western allies cease supplying Russian neighbours with weapons.

Mr Biden has come under intense fire over his handling of the situation so far.Former US President Donald Trump has labelled Mr Biden as weak and has claimed Mr Putin is a genius for his actions over Ukraine but stated such events would not have happened on his watch.

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The collapse of talks will be seen by French voters as yet another failure in the Macron presidency, with Marine Le Pen also taking aim.

She said: “I wondered whether he was really acting as president in this whole process, or whether he was looking to win the Nobel Peace Prize.”

Far-Left rival Jean-Luc Melenchon also slammed Mr Macron’s “dismal record in this whole affair”, stating: “It is useless to hope he will do better.”

Mr Macron’s aides lashed out at Mr Putin for backtracking on a deal in principle to hold talks.

A statement read: “Putin has not kept his word,

“For the time being, no new contacts are planned.”

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