Even as severe shelling continues in Ukraine’s east, world leaders are mounting another diplomatic effort in the hopes of stopping a Russian invasion.

According to the White House, President Joe Biden has agreed to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin “in principle” if he refrains from attacking his neighbour, which US officials believe is becoming increasingly likely.

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A Biden-Putin meeting would provide fresh hope for averting a Russian invasion, which US officials believe might start at any time from the estimated 150,000 Russian troops stationed near Ukraine.

Here’s a rundown of the most recent developments in Eastern Europe’s security crisis:

Will Biden and Putin meet?

The presidents of the United States and Russia have tentatively agreed to meet in a last-ditch diplomatic effort to prevent Moscow from invading Ukraine.

However, both parties appear wary of a future meeting.

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The meeting will only take place if Russia does not invade Ukraine, according to the White House, which notes that intense shelling is still going on in eastern Ukraine.

“It’s premature to talk about specific plans for a summit,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

In a series of late-night phone calls, French President Emmanuel Macron attempted to orchestrate a prospective meeting between Biden and Putin. Both leaders have “accepted the principle of such a summit,” according to Macron’s office, which will be followed by a larger summit gathering of leaders.

According to Macron’s office, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will meet on Thursday to lay the framework for the summit.

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What’s the situation in East Ukraine?

In Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland of Donbas, heavy shelling has risen in recent days along the tense line of contact between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatist insurgents.

It’s been a war since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. At least 14,000 people have died in the fighting, yet it has been relatively peaceful for long periods of time.

Ukrainian military spokesman Pavlo Kovalchyuk said rebels fired Ukrainian forces 80 times on Sunday and eight times early Monday, claiming that the separatists were “cynically firing from residential areas using civilians as shields.” He said that the Ukrainian army were not firing back.

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Ekaterina Evseeva, 60, of the government-controlled settlement of Novognativka, claimed the bombardment was worse than it was during the battle.

“It’s worse than 2014,” she said with a trembling voice. “We are on the edge of nervous breakdowns. And there is nowhere to run.”

Russian troops stay in Belarus, adding to fears

When the military drills in Belarus, which is located on Ukraine’s northern border, were set to end on Sunday, Russian forces were scheduled to return home. However, Moscow and Minsk have announced that Russian forces will remain in the country permanently.

The Russian forces’ prolonged presence in Belarus has generated fears that they will be dispatched to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, a metropolis of 3 million people less than three hours’ drive from the Belarus border.

Ukraine vows to remain calm

Despite Biden’s claim that Putin has decided to send Russian troops into Ukraine, Ukrainian officials attempted to exude calm, claiming that an invasion is not near.

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Russia has accumulated 147,000 troops around Ukraine, including 9,000 in Belarus, according to Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, who claims the figure is plainly insufficient for an offensive on Kiev.

“The talk about an attack on Kyiv from the Belarusian side sounds ridiculous,” he remarked, alleging that Russia is scaring Kyiv by stationing soldiers there.

Many Ukrainians were returning home from shopping or working in the neighbouring EU countries over the weekend at the Polish border. Many people declared they were unafraid and promised to take up arms against Russia if they were attacked.

EU offers to advise Ukraine

The European Union has decided to set up a military education advisory mission in Ukraine, according to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

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After meeting with the EU’s foreign ministers in Brussels, Kuleba informed reporters that an agreement in principle had been reached to deploy an advise training military mission in Ukraine.

“This is not combat forces. This is a new element in the cooperation between Ukraine and the European Union,” he added, adding that the mission’s specifics are still being worked out. “It is critical that we open this new page in our relations.”

It is possible that European officers will be sent to Ukraine’s military academies to assist in the education of the country’s armed forces. The setup will most likely take several months.

The latest British warning

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss of the United Kingdom has warned that an invasion of Ukraine is likely, and that her country is preparing for it.

“Diplomacy must be pursued but a Russian invasion of Ukraine looks highly likely. The U.K. and allies are stepping up preparations for the worst-case scenario. We must make the cost for Russia intolerably high,” she tweeted.