President Joe Biden assured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday that the US and its allies “will respond decisively” if Russia invades Ukraine again, according to a White House readout of a phone call between the two leaders.
- Biden tells Zelensky that the US and its allies “will respond decisively” if Russia invades Ukraine.
- The two spoke just days after Biden implored with Putin to resolve a lingering military crisis on Ukraine’s border.
- Later this month, Russian and US officials will meet in Geneva.
- Biden stated that Russia has agreed to engage in three upcoming European conferences, plus US-Russia diplomatic talks led by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
Biden warns Russia of severe economic sanctions as Fears of Ukraine’s invasion remains high.
The two spoke just days after Biden urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to resolve an unresolved military crisis on Ukraine’s border and ahead of a scheduled meeting between Russian and US officials in Geneva later this month.
In a tweet Sunday evening, Zelensky stated that the call with Biden highlighted the “unique nature of our relations.” “Joint actions of Ukraine, the US, and partners in maintaining peace in Europe, avoiding further escalation, reforms, and deoligarchization were discussed,” he continued.
Ukraine “appreciates the unflinching support,” Zelensky added.
Up to 100,000 Russian troops remain amassed on the Ukrainian border, despite warnings from Biden and European leaders of dire consequences if Putin proceeds with an invasion. Furthermore, US intelligence estimates that Russia could launch a military offensive in Ukraine “as early as 2022.”
Biden said Friday that he made it clear to Putin during their phone call that there would be a “heavy price to pay” if Russia invades Ukraine & threatened severe economic sanctions. Putin told Biden that reimposing sanctions on Russia would be a “colossal mistake” that could abolish bilateral relations, a Kremlin aide said.
Russia has been requesting security guarantees from the US and NATO, including a binding commitment that NATO will not expand eastward and deny Ukraine membership in the military alliance. However, Biden has indicated that the US will make no concessions on NATO or Ukraine’s future.
“We made it abundantly clear to President Putin that if he makes any further moves, including entering Ukraine, we will impose severe sanctions. We will strengthen our presence in Europe in cooperation with our NATO allies, but at a high cost, “President Biden remarks following a New Year’s Eve lunch in Wilmington, Delaware.
Biden stated that Putin agreed to three upcoming European conferences, including US-Russia diplomatic talks led by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in Geneva on January 10 and Russia-NATO talks on January 12.
Biden expresses support for diplomatic initiatives geared at resolving conflicts.
According to the White House, Biden and Zelenskiy discussed preparations for a series of upcoming diplomatic meetings to resolve the crisis.
They discussed joint actions to preserve peace in Europe and avert further escalation, Zelenskiy said on Twitter.
Representatives of the United States and Russia are scheduled to meet in Geneva on Jan. 9-10, followed by Russia-NATO Council talks and an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe meeting.
Biden has stated that he communicated to Putin the importance of the Russians taking steps toward resolving the crisis before those meetings.
Putin’s foreign affairs adviser told reporters last week that Putin warned Biden that pursuing sanctions “could result in a complete breakdown of bilateral relations and severe damage to Russia-West relations.”
Officials from the Kremlin have stated that they want guarantees that any future NATO expansion will exclude Ukraine & other former Soviet countries. Russia has demanded that the military alliance withdraw offensive weapons from the region’s countries.
Biden expressed support for diplomatic measures aimed at defusing tensions while also reiterating “the United States’ commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” according to the White House.