President Joe Biden warns Putin: President Joe Biden says Vladimir Putin does not desire a full-fledged conflict in Ukraine and that if he goes through with a military assault, he would pay a “heavy price.”
The Associated Press reports from Kyiv, Ukraine, on January 20. President Joe Biden believes Vladimir Putin does not desire a full-fledged conflict in Ukraine and that if he goes through with a military assault, he would pay a “heavy price.”
At a news conference on Wednesday to commemorate his one-year in office, Biden also stated that he believes Russia is ready to intervene in Ukraine, but he does not believe Putin has made a final decision. He hinted that if Russia invaded Ukraine again, he might restrict its access to the international banking system.
“I’m not certain he knows what he’s going to do,” Biden stated. “My prediction is he’ll move in,” he continued. With crucial discussions on the horizon, the US and Russia gave no signs on Wednesday that they will budge from their hardline views on Ukraine, which have prompted concerns of a Russian invasion and a new European war.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, speaking in Kyiv, accused Russia of plotting to reinforce the more than 100,000 troops stationed along the Ukrainian border, implying that the number may treble “in quite short order.”
Blinken did not go into detail, but Russia has dispatched an undefined number of troops from the far east to its ally Belarus, which shares a border with Ukraine, for massive war games next month.
Meanwhile, Ukraine has stated that it is prepared for the worst and would overcome any challenges that may arise. The president asked the nation not to be alarmed.
Blinken’s visit to Kyiv occurred just two days before his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva. This comes after a week of unproductive meetings that failed to defuse increasing tensions.
Russian military activity has increased in recent weeks, but the US has yet to determine if President Vladimir Putin intends to invade or whether the show of force is meant to wring security concessions from the Russians without provoking a fight.
Blinken underlined Washington’s insistence that Russia de-escalate the situation by withdrawing its soldiers from the border area, something Moscow has categorically refused to do. When he and Lavrov meet in Geneva, Blinken said he won’t provide Russia the written response it expects to its requests.
Meanwhile, a senior Russian official stated that Moscow will not budge on its demand that the US explicitly exclude Ukraine from joining NATO and diminish the alliance’s military posture in Eastern Europe.
Moscow has no intention of invading Ukraine, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, but its demands for security assurances are non-negotiable.
The US and its allies have stated that Russia’s demands are impossible to meet, that Russia is aware of this, and that Putin is using them as an excuse to invade Ukraine, which has significant ethnic and historical links to Russia.
The former Soviet republic wishes to join the alliance, although it is unlikely to do so in the near future.
In the face of Russian aggression, Blinken urged Western nations to remain united. He also reaffirmed Ukraine’s president of NATO’s assistance while urging Ukrainians to remain united.
Blinken assured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that the US and its allies remained unwavering in their support for his country’s democratic ambitions in the face of Russian attempts to sow dissension and division through “relentless assault.” “Our strength is contingent on our ability to maintain our togetherness, which includes unity inside Ukraine,” he told Zelenskyy. “One of Moscow’s long-term goals, I believe, has been to foment divisions between and among our nations, which we just cannot and will not allow. The Biden administration had previously stated that it would provide Ukraine with an additional USD 200 million in defensive military aid. More support is on the way, according to Blinken, and it will only escalate if Russia invades.
Blinken was praised by Zelenskyy for the assistance, which had been agreed in late December but hadn’t been verified until Wednesday.
This (military) assistance reflects not just our strategic ambitions for Ukraine’s membership in the alliance, but also the strength of our military, military supplies, and military readiness “He went on to say, alluding to Kyiv’s desire to join NATO.
“It’s critical that you come,” Zelenskyy remarked. “It reaffirms your unwavering support for our freedom and sovereignty.” On Wednesday evening, Zelenskyy delivered a video message to the country, asking Ukrainians not to be alarmed by concerns of an invasion. He did say, though, that the country has been dealing with the Russian threat for a long time and that the country should always be prepared for war.
“Ukraine does not desire a conflict, but it must be ready for one at all times,” Zelenskyy added.
Blinken will go from Kyiv to Berlin on Thursday for consultations with German and other European allies before meeting with Lavrov.
“We should construct it among Europeans, then share it with our partners in the context of NATO, and finally submit it for negotiation to Russia,” French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday.
Further negotiations on armament limitation and confidence-building measures to lessen the risk of hostilities have been left open by Washington and its allies.
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