Washington: US President Joe Biden has said that he is convinced and has reason to believe that Russian forces will attack Ukraine, including its capital Kyiv, in the coming week, warning that Russia will be responsible for a “catastrophic and needless war of choice” if it pursues its plans.
Biden’s comments came amid heightened tensions between Russia and the US, fuelled by fears that Moscow plans to invade Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly denied that it has plans to attack Ukraine.
Giving an update to reporters from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Biden on Friday said the US is doing everything in its power to remove any reason that Russia may give to justify invading Ukraine and prevent them from moving.
Look, we have reason to believe the Russian forces are planning to and intend to attack Ukraine in the coming week — in the coming days. We believe that they will target Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, a city of 2.8 million innocent people, Biden said.
Make no mistake: If Russia pursues its plans, it will be responsible for a catastrophic and needless war of choice. The United States and our allies are prepared to defend every inch of NATO territory from any threat to our collective security as well, he said.
Biden said that he is convinced that Russia is going to invade Ukraine.
He ruled out sending troops in to fight in Ukraine but said the US will continue to support the Ukrainian people.
Responding to a question if he thinks it is wise for the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to leave Ukraine if an invasion is as imminent as the US, Biden said, that’s a judgment for him to make and a determination as to whether or not. I’ve spoken with Zelenskyy a dozen times — maybe more, I don’t know.
Biden said that the US and its allies and partners will support the Ukrainian people. We will hold Russia accountable for its actions. The West is united and resolved. We’re ready to impose severe sanctions on Russia if it further invades Ukraine, he said.
But I say again: Russia can still choose diplomacy. It is not too late to de-escalate and return to the negotiating table, he said.
Noting that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have agreed to meet on February 24, Biden said if Russia takes military action before that date, it will be clear that they have slammed the door shut on diplomacy.
They will have chosen war, and they will pay a steep price for doing so — not only from the sanctions that we and our allies will impose on Russia, but the moral outrage that the rest of the world will visit upon them, he said.
On Friday, Russia announced nuclear drills, even as leaders of nations from the West looked for ways to ease the tensions.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday warned that it would be catastrophic if the Russia-Ukraine conflict escalated into a war, while underlining that there was no alternative to diplomacy.
Biden on Thursday said that the threat of Russian invasion of Ukraine is very high right now.
It’s very high because they (Russia) have not moved out troops, number one. Number two, we’re briefed that they are engaged in false flag operations, he had said.
The US on Thursday told the UN Security Council that its information indicates clearly that over 150,000 Russian forces amassed around Ukraine’s borders are preparing to attack Ukraine in the coming days and Moscow plans to manufacture a pretext for its strike.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in his address to the Security Council, said over the past months, without provocation or justification , Russia has amassed more than 150,000 troops around Ukraine’s borders.
According to US estimates, Russia has amassed between 169,000 and 190,000 personnel in and near Ukraine, up from about 100,000 on January 30.
- Budget 2023 misses the mark for Northeast India’s industrial sector
- MSSSB: Mizoram student’s body protests over ‘jobs to Non-Mizos’
- Northeast industrial body hails Budget 2023 as ‘growth-oriented’
- Assam: G-20 delegates visit Kaziranga ahead of first series of events
- SDF demands CM’s resignation, blames Sikkim govt for ‘immigrant row’
- Meghalaya 2023: AICC takes on CM over ‘no development’ remark