A Ukrainian serviceman takes part in live-fire exercises Photograph:( AFP )
Amid hectic diplomatic efforts, the UK government said it will be making a fresh bid to defuse Russia's row with Ukraine in the coming weeks as Downing Street pointed out that the crisis had reached a 'critical juncture'
Ukraine leader Volodymyr Zelensky urged US President Joe Biden to visit Kyiv to "stabilise" the situation with Ukraine and send a "powerful signal" amid tensions with Russia at the border.
Germany said the responsibility of risk of war lay with Putin's regime as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said there was a "serious threat to peace in Europe". The German Chancellor will be travelling to Kyiv to meet President Zelensky and then he will be in Moscow to meet President Putin.
Germany expressed mounting concerns over Russia's plan to invade Ukraine, although Putin has repeatedly said he has no plans to invade the country. The US has said there are over 100,000 troops amassed at the Ukraine border including tanks, artillery and missiles.
Amid hectic diplomatic efforts, the UK government said it will be making a fresh bid to defuse Russia's row with Ukraine in the coming weeks as Downing Street pointed out that the crisis had reached a "critical juncture".
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"All the information we have suggests Russia could be planning an invasion of Ukraine at any moment," the Downing Street spokesman said while adding that it could lead to "disastrous consequences" for both Ukraine and Russia.
Several countries including Britain, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia and UAE have asked their citizens to leave Ukraine even as Russia has recalled some of its diplomatic staff over what it called fears of "provocations".
Dutch airlines KLM said it would be suspending flights to Ukraine till further notice as Canada said it was closing its embassy temporarily in Kyiv and Romania withdrew non-essential personnel from its embassy in Kyiv.
US national security advisor Jake Sullivan said "a major military action could begin by Russia in Ukraine any day now" while adding that it could start with "a significant barrage of missiles and bomb attacks and innocent civilians could be killed" even as both Germany and the United States threatened sanctions.
The US State Department over the weekend also asked its non-emergency embassy staff to leave Ukraine.
(With inputs from Agencies)