Prime News, International (Washington), Dec 8:- US President Joe Biden is ready to warn Vladimir Putin during a video call Tuesday that Russia will face economy-jarring sanctions if it invades neighbouring Ukraine as Biden seeks a diplomatic solution to deal with the tens of thousands of Russian troops massed near the Ukraine border.
Biden aims to make clear that his administration stands ready to take actions against the Kremlin that would exact “a very real cost” on the Russian economy, according to White House officials. Putin, for his part, is expected to demand guarantees from Biden that the NATO military alliance will never expand to include Ukraine, which has long sought membership. That’s a non-starter for the Americans and their NATO allies.
“We’ve consulted significantly with our allies and believe we have a path forward that would impose significant and severe harm on the Russian economy,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday in previewing the meeting. “You can call that a threat. You can call that a fact. You can call that preparation. You can call it whatever you want to call it.”
The leader-to-leader conversation — Biden speaking from the Situation Room, Putin from his residence in Sochi — is expected to be one of the toughest of Biden’s presidency and comes at a perilous time. U.S. intelligence officials have determined that Russia has massed 70,000 troops near the Ukraine border and has made preparations for a possible invasion early next year.
In a statement released just hours before the leaders’ video call, Ukrainian authorities charged that Russia is sending tanks and snipers to war-torn eastern Ukraine to “provoke return fire.” Ukraine’s Defense Ministry alleged that Russia is holding “training camps under the leadership of regular servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces.” The Kremlin hasn’t commented on the allegations. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).