NATO to hold special foreign ministers meeting over Ukraine tensions

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NATO says it will hold a virtual meeting of foreign ministers on Friday to assess the situation in Ukraine and upcoming talks with Russia.

The extraordinary meeting of the 30 alliance members will begin a week of intense diplomacy over Russia’s military buildup on Ukraine’s borders and initiatives to ease tensions.

US President Joe Biden has warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that Washington could impose new sanctions against Moscow if it takes further military action against Ukraine.

Putin has responded that such a move could lead to a complete rupture of ties between the two countries.

Putin and Biden have spoken twice over the past month, before scheduled talks between senior US and Russian officials on January 9-10 in Geneva.

Those talks will be followed by a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council on January 12 and negotiations at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna on January 13.

The European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, flew to Ukraine on Tuesday for a two-day trip to show support for Kyiv, which aspires to join the bloc and NATO.

Moscow wants guarantees that NATO will halt its eastward expansion and end military cooperation with Ukraine and Georgia.

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