Russia Signals Openness to Diplomacy Despite US Warning of Potential Invasion This Week

Headline Roundup February 14th, 2022

In a televised meeting on Monday, Russian leaders signaled openness to diplomacy despite reports that Russia could invade Ukraine as soon as Wednesday. 

“We warn against endless discussions on issues that need to be resolved today,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, adding that “there is always a chance” for successful negotiations. The public remarks came amid ongoing negotiations with Western diplomats. On Friday and Saturday, multiple outlets reported that U.S. intelligence suspected Russia would invade on Feb. 16. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded to the reports on Monday by declaring Feb. 16 a “day of unity.” Furthermore, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Monday that the State Department would temporarily relocate its embassy operations in Ukraine to Lviv, near the country’s western border. 

Coverage of the Russia/Ukraine crisis was widespread across the spectrum on Monday. Outlets on both sides offered varying assessments of the situation; Fox News (Right) highlighted a Russian “foreign policy insider” who suggested Russia did not want to invade, and a tagline on a Washington Examiner (Lean Right) article said diplomacy appeared to be “delaying the inevitable.” The New York Times (Lean Left) highlighted the potential implications for global oil prices

From the Left
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The Kremlin signaled Monday it is ready to keep talking with the West about security grievances that led to the current Ukraine crisis, offering hope that Russia might not invade its beleaguered neighbor within days as the U.S. and European allies increasingly fear.

Questions remain about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions, however. And countries are evacuating diplomats and on alert for possible imminent war amid the worst East-West tensions since the Cold War.

On a last-ditch diplomatic trip, Germany’s chancellor said there are “no sensible reasons” for the buildup of more than 130,000 Russian...

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From the Left
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ANALYSIS

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his trusty foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, on Monday signaled that there would be no imminent military strike on Ukraine and that they were prepared to continue diplomatic dialogue with the West, led by the United States.

Coming after the U.S. warned that a major invasion could begin as soon as Wednesday, the geopolitical dance moves were so exquisitely choreographed that a meeting between Putin and Lavrov might have been better held on stage at the Bolshoi Theater, rather than around a huge rectangular conference table...

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From the Right
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Russia has appeared to be on the precipice of invading Ukraine for months after amassing a significant troop presence on the border despite the United States and other European countries hoping the standoff could be resolved through diplomacy.

Various U.S. officials have spoken to their Russian and Ukrainian counterparts in recent days, though the results are unclear. Over the weekend, President Joe Biden spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin to warn the U.S. would “impose swift and severe costs on Russia” if they invaded. However, a senior administration official told reporters afterward that "there was no fundamental change in...

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