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Russia Must Pay ‘Long-Term Price’ For Ukraine Invasion – Biden

 

US President Joe Biden, who is on a visit to Japan, has said Russia has to “pay a long-term price” for its “barbarism in Ukraine” in terms of sanctions imposed by the US and its allies.

When asked if the US would defend Taiwan if it were attacked by China, the president said it would.

“That’s the commitment we made,” Biden said. Beijing considers Taiwan to be a renegade province which has to be unified with the mainland.

“We agreed with the One China policy, we signed on to it… but the idea that [Taiwan] can be taken by force is just not appropriate.

“It will dislocate the entire region and be another action similar to what happened in Ukraine.”

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Russia-Ukraine War: Russia ‘Plans To Seize Southern Ukraine’

 

According to BBC reports, Russia aims to seize southern Ukraine and to open a route to the separatist region of Transnistria in Moldova, a senior Russian general says.

Maj Gen Rustam Minnekayev specified that Moscow would seek to take “full control” over the south in addition to the eastern Donbas region – the stated objective of the Russian authorities.

Transnistria is a small Russian-backed region that borders Ukraine.

It is unclear if Gen Minnekayev’s comments were officially sanctioned.

Russian defence officials told the BBC’s Steve Rosenberg that they were “looking into” the general’s comments, which – if confirmed – offer the first insight into Russia’s potential plans in the coming weeks.

Read Also: Ukraine: UK embassy in Kyiv to reopen next week-UK PM

Meanwhile, a senior EU official has told Reuters that Russia is likely to intensify its attacks in eastern Ukraine and along the southern coast in the coming days, adding that the next two weeks may be decisive in the war.

It comes as the BBC learned that European Council President Charles Michel has highlighted Russia’s “miscalculations and losses” in its invasion of Ukraine to President Vladimir Putin during a phone call on Friday.

A small Russian-speaking breakaway region, Transnistria borders Ukraine from the west. It claimed independence after the fall of the Soviet Union in a bloody conflict, but is not recognised internationally and officially remains part of Moldova.

A small detachment of around 1,500 Russian troops has been stationed in the region since 1995 as part of a truce agreement.

Gen Minnekayev, who is deputy commander of Russia’s central military district, was speaking at a military event in the Sverdlovsk region.

“Control over the south of Ukraine is another way out to Transnistria, where there are also facts of oppression of the Russian-speaking population,” Gen Minnekayev said.

Mr Putin made similar claims about the alleged discrimination against Russian speakers in Ukraine before launching the invasion on 24 February.

Ukraine’s defence ministry denounced Gen Minnekayev’s comments as Russian “imperialism”.

In a statement posted to Twitter, Ukrainian officials said Russia had “acknowledged that the goal of the ‘second phase’ of the war is not victory over the mythical Nazis, but simply the occupation of eastern and southern Ukraine”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says Russia is planning on holding a series of sham independence referendums in occupied regions to create a series of pro-Russian breakaway states.

“If they ask you to fill out some questionnaires, leave your passport data somewhere, you should know this is not to help you,” he warned.

“This is aimed to falsify the so-called referendum on your land if an order comes from Moscow to stage such a show. This is the reality. Be careful.”

A spokesperson for the Ukrainian defence ministry said that referendums were planned in Kherson and occupied areas around Zaporizhzhia in the coming weeks.

Oleksandr Motuzianik claimed the polls will coincide with the forced conscription of some men into the Russian military.

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