Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Diplomatic flurry over Ukraine dealt a blow

The diplomatic flurry continued to try and avert a potential conflict, but those efforts suffered a setback on Monday as Moscow said there were “no concrete plans” for a summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden, throwing into question the fate of a French proposal publicized hours earlier. Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy shortly after Putin’s announcement and held a separate call with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday afternoon. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/u-agrees-biden-putin-summit-071704190.html) Putin signed a decree officially recognizing two self-proclaimed separatist republics in eastern Ukraine, a move that likely torpedoes European-mediated peace talks and further escalates tensions with the West. It drew immediate condemnation from the European Union including states in the bloc’s east. Putin made the announcement in a televised address that followed a meeting on Monday of his Security Council. It comes against a backdrop of heightened concern over Russia’s sustained troop buildup near Ukraine, even as Moscow continues to deny it plans to invade.

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