Russia 'emboldened' by Brexit and US division says Omand

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Mr Biden has enlisted a team of meteorologists to analyse when Russian president Vladimir Putin is likely to make his move on Ukraine. This comes after a mild winter that may have forced Mr Putin to temporarily push back his plans.

According to US officials, the Kremlin may have been forced to delay its plans for a ground invasion, thanks to an unusually warm start to the winter this year.

Military analysts believed that a freezing winter, which is common in the region during this period, would have allowed for the easy movement of heavy vehicles and equipment.

Given how vital the weather is to military operations in the Russia-Ukraine region, Mr Biden has ordered meteorologists to look closely at the weather in Ukraine in order to predict a possible offensive, a US official told the New York Times.

Mr Biden has been holding talks with Mr Putin over the past month in a bid to ease the buildup of military presence at the border with Ukraine.

An estimated 104,000 soldiers have been deployed to the area, sparking fears Moscow might be plotting to make a move to integrate additional areas from the eastern European county.

Initially, military experts believed that Russia was likely to advance and take over Ukraine in January, however, the warm winter has reportedly “delayed” these plans.

Speaking anonymously, US officials to US media that on Monday that the relatively mild weather makes a January invasion now unlikely.

Russia and US delegations met on Monday in an effort to diffuse hostilities that have arisen in recent months over an invasion of Ukraine.

Both sides agreed to continue efforts to reduce tensions, although there was no sign of a major breakthrough once the talks had concluded.

The US has said if Russia were to attack Ukraine it would be subjected to sanctions.

Russia, meanwhile, has warned the US not to “underestimate the risks” involved in Moscow’s confrontation with the West.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters following the meeting: “We explained to our colleagues that we have no plans, no intentions to attack Ukraine.”

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According to US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, Russian proposals that were “non-starters” for the US Government – including Russia’s demand that The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) commit to never absorbing Ukraine into its alliance – were rebuffed by the US.

She said: “We will not allow anyone to slam closed NATO’s open-door policy, which has always been central to the NATO alliance.”

Consequently, Ms Sherman and other US officials moved to reassure Ukraine, Europe and NATO that they would be included in any decisions.

On Tuesday, three thousand Russian troops began live-fire exercises with hardware including tanks in western Russia, including in areas close to Ukraine, Interfax news agency quoted the military as saying.

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