Biden to speak with western leaders on Friday about Ukraine
U.S. President Joe Biden will be speaking with Western leaders on Feb. 18, the press service of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau announced on Feb. 17. Biden will be hosting a meeting with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, the UK, the EU, and NATO. The group will discuss the situation in and around Ukraine.
The remote meeting comes as Russia prepares to launch nuclear-capable missiles and cruise missiles during exercises on Feb. 19.
Meanwhile, in Ukraine, shelling from Russian-led forces continues in Luhansk Oblast. As of the time this report was written, 20 artillery and mortar shells had landed in the area where the shelling of a kindergarten had occurred on Feb. 17.
Ukrainian defense minister Oleksiy Reznikov stated on Feb. 18 that the Ukrainian government has seen no final preparations for a general attack by Russia. However, Russia will continue trying to provoke Ukraine into returning fire, and false-flag operations are expected.
James Hydzik: While Russia’s attempt at brinksmanship is unlikely to succeed, the likelihood that this is now a ‘new normal’ is high. Unless punishment for the shelling is severe, the shelling, the troop levels, and rhetoric are likely to continue. Fortunately, there have been no deaths from the shelling thus far. For Biden, the issue will be to push forward sanctions before that state changes.