President Joe Biden said Friday that he is preparing ways to halt a potential incursion into Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin as Moscow masses troops along Ukraine’s border.
The president told reporters Friday that he is compiling a “meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for Mr. Putin to go ahead and do what people are worried he may do.”
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He also said he was in “constant contact” with allies and Ukrainian leaders amid concerns of threats to Ukraine’s sovereignty. Russian forces are positioned along Ukraine’s eastern border, Crimea, and several separatist-held regions in the country’s east.
A top administration official warned this week that an invasion would trigger “high impact” sanctions against Moscow.
“We’ve seen this playbook before,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken, referring to Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine and annexation of the Crimean peninsula.
Biden and Putin will hold a video call next week to discuss “the Ukraine crisis,” among other issues, according to Kremlin foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov. He said a date had been agreed to but wouldn’t be announced until the details of the talks were confirmed. Biden met with Putin in Geneva earlier this year for talks.
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Russia is also seeking legal guarantees against NATO expansion. Ukraine has lobbied heavily to join the security pact, though analysts say this is highly unlikely.