Russia-Ukraine: Russian warships heading to Black Sea for naval drills: LIVE UPDATES

Russia ‘has all the chips’ in Ukraine standoff: McFarland

Rep. Rosendale introduces bill to block military assistance to Ukraine until US border is secured

FIRST ON FOX: Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., on Tuesday introduced legislation that would block security and military assistance to Ukraine until the U.S. southern border is secured — the latest example of Republican concern that Ukraine’s border security is being prioritized over American border security.

The Secure America’s Border First Act would prohibit the expenditure or obligation of military and security assistance to Kyiv until there is “operation control” of the U.S.-Mexico border – where the border crisis is moving into its second year.

There is growing concern in Washington D.C. about the Russian buildup of forces at the Ukrainian border. U.S. combat forces have arrived in Poland this week amid fears that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could see Kyiv fall within days. 

But Rosendale’s bill seeks to bring attention back to the southern border, where there were 178,840 migrant apprehensions in December alone, capping a year that saw massive migrant numbers as well as drugs such as fentanyl pouring into the U.S.

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Russian warships heading to Black Sea for naval drills

Six Russian warships are currently heading to the Black Sea — which borders Ukraine
— for previously-planned naval drills, Reuters reports, citing the Russian Interfax news agency.

Moscow last month announced military exercises involving all of its fleets in the Pacific and Atlantic, according to Reuters.

The ships are expected to travel though Turkey’s straits today and tomorrow in order to enter the Black Sea, sources told the news agency.

Russia will pull troops from Belarus after exercises, Paris says

Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Moscow that the troops stationed in Belarus will be pulled back once their war-game exercises are completed. 

Reuters reported that Putin did not mention the agreement after the marathon, seven-hour meeting with his French counterpart in the Kremlin on Monday. A French official told the news service about Moscow’s plan to pull back the troops. Macron’s diplomatic gamble to meet with Putin– who has clashed with Western countries– may have paid off.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Putin, told Tass, the Russian news agency, that there was never any talk of the soldiers staying in the country after the war games.

“No one has ever said that Russian troops will remain on the territory of Belarus, this has never been discussed,” Peskov said. “We are talking about allied exercises and, of course, it is understood that upon completion of these exercises, the troops will return to their permanent places of deployment.” 

The deployment raised concerns that Russia could be planning an Ukraine invasion from multiple fronts. – Edmund DeMarche

Biden warns Nord Stream 2 pipeline will not be operational if Russia invades Ukraine

The United States and Germany announced their “united approach” to deterring further Russian aggression against Ukraine, with President Biden warning that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will not be operational if Russia follows through with an invasion of Ukraine.

Biden welcomed German Chancellor Olaf Sholz to the White House for his first official visit to Washington on Monday for what he described as a “very productive meeting” in which the two discussed their countries’ “shared values that shape how each of us approaches leadership.”

Both Biden and Scholz, during a joint press conference Monday, said they spent a significant amount of time discussing the situation between Russia and Ukraine, maintaining their preference to pursue a diplomatic approach to prevent an incursion.

Nikki Haley: Putin, dictators know Biden is ‘weakest president in history,’ so they want to act now

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin and other autocrats know Joe Biden is “the weakest president in history” and therefore understand that if they want to take drastic actions like invading Ukraine, “this is the time to do it.”

Haley, a former South Carolina governor, told “Special Report” it was important for Biden to meet with Germany’s new left-leaning chancellor, Olaf Scholz – as Berlin is in a sensitive diplomatic position given its place in NATO and Western democracy while also being reliant on Russian energy.

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