Chance of diplomatic solution 'higher' than military escalation: Ukraine presidency

WION Web Team
Kiev, Ukraine Updated: Feb 06, 2022, 08:30 PM(IST)

File photos of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photograph:( AFP )

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It comes after US officials said Russia has assembled at least 70 percent of the military firepower it likely intends to have in place by mid-month to give President Vladimir Putin the option of launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine

Ukraine presidency advisor Mykhailo Podolyak has said a diplomatic solution is more likely than an attack by Russia.

"An honest assessment of the situation suggests that the chance of finding a diplomatic solution for de-escalation is still substantially higher than the threat of further escalation," said Podolyak.

"For our intelligence service and our armed forces, this Russian activity comes as absolutely no surprise," he said. 

It comes after US officials said Russia has assembled at least 70 per cent of the military firepower it likely intends to have in place by mid-month to give President Vladimir Putin the option of launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Washington believes Russia may choose other options than a full-scale invasion, including a limited incursion, and does not believe President Vladimir Putin had made a final decision, the officials said.

Also see | What weapons has Ukraine received from Western countries to resist Russia's army?

Ukraine could suffer 5,000 to 25,000 troop casualties, while Russia's troop casualties could be between 3,000 and 10,000, and civilian casualties could range from 25,000 to 50,000, according to US estimates, the official said.

"How long will such Russian activity last and for what purpose is it maintained? Only the Kremlin can know the exact answer to this question," he said. 

"The task of both Ukraine and our partners is to be prepared for any scenario, and we are fulfilling this task 100 percent." 

Russia has denied plans to invade Ukraine but has deployed more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine's borders and says it could take unspecified military measures if its demands are not met, including a promise by NATO never to admit Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden has said he will not send US troops to Ukraine to fight a war. He has, however, ordered additional forces, including headquarters personnel and combat troops, to Poland and Romania to reassure those NATO allies that Washington would fulfill its treaty commitment to respond to Russian aggression against NATO territory. Ukraine is not a NATO member but receives US and allied military support and training.
 

(With inputs from agencies)

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