British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke on Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin and asked him to “reduce tension” with Ukraine, warning that any military intervention would be a “strategic mistake,” the British government said.
In a statement, the government said that Johnson “expressed the UK’s deep concern about the reinforcement of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine, and reiterated the importance of working through diplomatic channels to reduce tensions.”
The US administration dispatched the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, Karen Dunfried, to Ukraine and Russia, where the two began holding meetings in a tour that will continue until Wednesday.
On Wednesday, the summit scheduled in Brussels will be held between the leaders of the European Union and their counterparts in five of the six countries in the Eastern Partnership: Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and Armenia, and a European summit will be held Thursday.
Belarus has left this partnership, but the leader of the Belarusian opposition, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, is in Brussels until Wednesday, and as of Sunday she met the President of the European Council Charles Michel, and the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
A sixth set of sanctions is being prepared against the regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, according to European sources.
European leaders seek to form a united front against Russia in its neighboring countries.
They will extend for six months the sanctions that were adopted against Russia following its annexation of Crimea in 2014 and determine what the “strategic consequences” will be for Moscow in the event of its military intervention in Ukraine.