Washington, February 17: The United States has “every indication” that Russia is prepared to move into Ukraine in the next couple of days, President Joe Biden said on Thursday, as Moscow expelled the second-most senior diplomat at the American embassy in Russia. 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.
“Every indication we have (that) they (Russia) are prepared to move into Ukraine, attack Ukraine,” Biden told reporters at the White House. Responding to questions, Biden 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 said.
According to several media reports, Russia has deployed some 150,000 forces around Ukraine’s borders. Biden said the invasion may happen in the next couple of days and that he has not read Russian President Vladimir Putin’s response on Ukraine. Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Threat of Russian Invasion ‘Very High’, Says US President Joe Biden.
The US has received a response from Russia after the Biden administration gave a written document to the Kremlin three weeks ago, CNN reported, quoting a senior State Department official. Biden said there is a “diplomatic path” out of the conflict. “That’s why (I) sent Secretary (of State Tony) Blinken to the UN,” he said.
Blinken headed to New York for the UN Security Council meeting and then Germany for the Munich Security Conference. The US on Thursday confirmed Russia has expelled a senior diplomat at its embassy in Moscow, calling the move an unprovoked “escalatory step”.
As we’ve been reporting, Russia has expelled the US deputy ambassador Bart Gorman, the second-most senior official at the embassy – but Moscow has not yet said why. The US State Department said Moscow’s action was “unprovoked and we consider this an escalatory step and are considering our response”. Russia-Ukraine Crisis: India at UNSC Emphasises Quiet, Constructive Diplomacy, Backs Minsk Agreements.
“We call on Russia to end its baseless expulsions of US diplomats and staff and to work productively to rebuild our missions,” the department says. “Now more than ever, it is critical that our countries have the necessary diplomatic personnel in place to facilitate communication between our governments,” it said.
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from Syndicated News feed, LatestLY Staff may not have modified or edited the content body)