Live updates: Ukraine-Russia border crisis

Deputy Principal Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaking during a press briefing in the White House press briefing room on February 14. (Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA)

US officials say they still hope diplomacy will prevail in the face of a potential threat of Russian military action in Ukraine.

Hope for diplomacy: The United States continues to seek a diplomatic solution to defuse the crisis along Ukraine’s borders, the White House said on Monday, but called the continued buildup of Russian troops along Ukraine’s border an obstacle to de-escalation.

“We are actively working to find a diplomatic solution to defuse the crisis,” deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, responding to a question about Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s comments that the window of diplomacy did not close.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian President Vladimir Putin was “willing to negotiate”, adding that the Ukraine crisis was only part of Russia’s broader security concerns.

“First of all, President Putin has always demanded negotiations and diplomacy,” Peskov told CNN’s Frederik Pleitgen Monday night. “And in fact he started the issue of security guarantees for the Russian Federation. And Ukraine is only part of the problem, it is part of the bigger problem of security guarantees for Russia and of course President Putin is ready to negotiate,” he said.

Preparing for “military action: While diplomatic lines remain open, the State Department made the decision to move the remaining diplomats from Kyiv to western Ukraine, as the department felt it was “absolutely necessary” due to the “distinct possibility, perhaps more real than ever, that Russia may decide to take military action,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said Monday.

During a briefing at the Pentagon, Press Secretary John Kirby said Russian President Vladimir Putin “continues to add” to his “menu of options” the kind of capabilities he has added from the Russian military. by land, sea and air.

“I would just say this, that he continues to advance his preparation if he chooses to go down a military path here, if he chooses to invade again, he does everything you expect him to do to make sure that he’s ready for that option or those options,” Kirby said.

Wall Street impact: The Dow Jones fell 172 points – or 0.5% – on Monday as Wall Street struggled to interpret the financial impact of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

When the US announced the closure of the US Embassy in Kyiv, US stocks fell.

On the ground in Ukraine: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has acknowledged that the Russian military build-up near the Ukrainian border represents an “unprecedented challenge for Europe and the world”.

“The escalation at the Ukrainian-Russian border is an unprecedented challenge for Europe and the world,” Zelensky said, speaking alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. “That is why it is very important that our partners support our country economically, in the field of defence.”

“I have always said that without Ukraine it is impossible to shape security in Europe,” he continued. “Ukraine’s security is Europe’s security and only together can we find ways to defend and protect our children,” he added.

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