Biden administration seeks to prevent potential Russian invasion of Ukraine

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  • The Biden administration said on Friday it was discussing several options with Congress and allies to deter Russia from a possible attack on Ukraine.
  • President Biden, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Secretary of State Antony Blinken all issued warnings on Friday.
  • In recent weeks, Ukraine has warned Washington and European allies that Russian troops have accumulated on its border. Meanwhile, Moscow has accused Kiev of stepping up its military build-up.

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WASHINGTON – The Biden administration said on Friday that it is discussing several options with Congress and allies aimed at preventing Russia from a possible attack on Ukraine.

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President Joe Biden himself said on Friday that his administration was preparing for action to make it difficult for Russia to launch its second invasion of Ukraine within a decade.

In recent weeks, Ukraine has warned Washington and European allies that Russian troops have accumulated on its border. Meanwhile, Moscow has accused Kiev of advancing its own military build-up on the border.

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Biden hopes that the US can prevent the situation from escalating.

“What I’m doing is putting together what I believe will be the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for Mr. Putin and people to believe that he can.” Biden told reporters Friday after an address at the White House.

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters later in the day that the Biden administration was monitoring the situation on the border between Ukraine and Russia.

“We can’t guess from here what President Putin’s calculations are or what the Russian calculations are. We saw what they did in 2014. We’ve seen what they’re doing at the border and we’re going to consult with our allies. And partners and Congress to be prepared for a number of options here,” Saki said, referring to the illegal Russian occupation of Crimea.

The annexation of Crimea in 2014 caused an international outcry and triggered a series of sanctions on Moscow. Soon after the merger, a war broke out in eastern Ukraine between government forces and Russian-backed separatists.

Foreign Minister Antony Blinken called on Russia to de-escalate tensions by first withdrawing its troops from the border.

“It’s very difficult to resolve anything diplomatically when a gun is being held over someone’s head. So, I think that’s the first step,” Blinken told a virtual audience on Friday.

The country’s top diplomat also warned that Russia would be in trouble if Russia continued its provocative action against Ukraine.

“If Russia decides to pursue just one confrontational path, if it renews its aggression, there will be very serious consequences not only from us, but also from other countries as well as Europe. I have high hopes That Russia will incorporate this into its thinking, especially because there is a better way forward,” Blinken said. “Conflict will not be in anyone’s interest.”

Earlier this week, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned that a future Russian offensive against Ukraine would come with dire political and economic consequences for Moscow.

“The ministers made it clear that we stand by our decisions. Our support for sovereignty and territorial integrity [of Ukraine and Georgia] remains unbroken,” Stoltenberg said during a NATO meeting in Riga, Latvia.

Blinken’s remarks came after a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Stockholm.

Lavrov rejected suggestions that Moscow was preparing an attack on Ukraine and defended Russia’s right to deploy troops on its territory.

Lavrov said, “Everyone is talking about escalating tensions in Europe. Specifically, on the Russian-Ukrainian border. You know our opinion on this very well because President Putin said we don’t want a conflict. Huh.”

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