The White House on Saturday called the UK government assessment of the Kremlin’s plan to install pro-Russian leader in Kyiv “deeply concerning”, saying it stands with the democratically elected Ukrainian government.
“This kind of plotting is deeply concerning,” said National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne. “The Ukrainian people have the sovereign right to determine their own future, and we stand with our democratically-elected partners in Ukraine.”
The UK Foreign Office has accused Moscow of seeking to replace Ukraine’s government with a pro-Russia administration as tensions swell between the two neighbours. The British government said that Yevhen Murayev, a former Ukrainian member of parliament, is a potential candidate. The assertions, based on an intelligence assessment, were made without providing details or a timeframe on the intelligence to back it up.
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Britain also claimed that the Russian intelligence services maintain links with “numerous” former Ukrainian politicians. The four former Ukrainian officials mentioned by the UK – Serhiy Arbuzov, Mykola Azarov, Andriy Kluyev and Volodymyr Sivkovych – are already subject to Western sanctions. They are believed to reside in Russia.
“Russia must de-escalate, end its campaigns of aggression and disinformation, and pursue a path of diplomacy,” UK foreign secretary Liz Truss said in the statement. “Any Russian military incursion into Ukraine would be a massive strategic mistake with severe costs.”
Russia’s foreign ministry has rejected the allegations as “disinformation” from Britain.
“Disinformation circulated by @FCDOGovUK is yet another indication that it is the @NATO Members led by the Anglo-Saxon nations who are escalating tensions around #Ukraine,” the ministry said in a tweet.
“We urge the Foreign Office to stop spreading nonsense.”
The US and the UK have started sending military aid to Ukraine as part of their effort to bolster its defences against a potential Russian invasion. Meanwhile, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania plan to send US-made anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine, a move fully endorsed by the United States.
“I expedited and authorized and we fully endorse transfers of defensive equipment @NATO Allies Estonia Latvia Lithuania are providing to Ukraine to strengthen its ability to defend itself against Russia’s unprovoked and irresponsible aggression,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a tweet.
“평생 사상가. 웹 광신자. 좀비 중독자. 커뮤니케이터. 창조자. 프리랜서 여행 애호가.”