Winter Olympics might affect Russia’s plans in Ukraine, US suggests

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Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman stated that the Winter Olympics in Beijing might impression Putin’s occupied with potential army motion, noting at a digital European suppose tank occasion Wednesday that she thinks Chinese language President Xi Jinping “wouldn’t be ecstatic if Putin selected that second to invade Ukraine.”

The Beijing Olympics kick off firstly of February and Putin plans to be there, Sherman added.

There’s some historical past involving Russia’s army motion and the Olympics. Russia’s invasion of Crimea occurred in 2014 simply because the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, have been wrapping up. In 2008, Russia invaded Georgia throughout the Summer time Olympics in Beijing.

The Biden administration has been warning {that a} Russian invasion of Ukraine may very well be imminent as Moscow has amassed tens of 1000’s of troops alongside the border with Ukraine. The Pentagon on Monday introduced as much as 8,500 troops have been positioned on heightened alert for a doable deployment to Jap Europe to help NATO international locations amid Russia’s escalation.

On Monday, China’s overseas ministry denied a report that it may need requested Putin to not additional invade Ukraine throughout the Winter Olympics. The response got here in reference to a Bloomberg article, which cited an unnamed diplomatic supply in Beijing who raised the likelihood that Chinese language President Xi Jinping had requested Putin to not invade Ukraine throughout the Video games in a name between the 2 leaders in December.
US and allies discussing deploying more troops to Eastern Europe prior to any Russian invasion of Ukraine

“The report is solely made up out of skinny air. It seeks not solely to smear and drive a wedge in China-Russia relations, but in addition to intentionally disrupt and undermine the Beijing Winter Olympics,” Chinese language overseas ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian stated in a briefing Monday.

The Kremlin additionally denied the reporting, calling it “faux information and a strategy to inflame tensions,” Russian state information company TASS reported Monday.

Sherman, who didn’t recommend the US had any intelligence on how the Olympics might affect the Kremlin’s actions surrounding Ukraine, stated Wednesday she suspects that “even the individuals round” Putin do not know what he’ll do. However she stated the US sees “each indication that he’s going to make use of army drive, someday maybe now and center of February.”

“I feel they know the plans of organising the army to be able to go, and to have plans to utilize the army, however I believe the President has different plans in thoughts as properly. And I don’t know if he is made the last word resolution,” she stated at an occasion hosted by Yalta European Technique.

The Winter Olympics run from February four via February 20.

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