Ukraine: Joe Biden says US could sanction Vladimir Putin

Written by on January 26, 2022

US President Joe Biden said Tuesday that Washington could hit Russian President Putin with personal sanctions in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The comments came as Russian combat troops massing around Ukraine launched new exercises.

A Russian incursion into Ukraine could become the “largest invasion” since World War II, Biden said. “It would change the world.”

At the same time, Biden told reporters he has “no intention” of dispatching US troops to Ukraine.

The Pentagon said Monday that 8,500 US troops had been placed on “heightened alert.”

European leaders seek dialogue
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron met in Berlin on Tuesday. The two leaders see diplomacy as a way forward in the Ukraine-Russia crisis, but have also warned of “severe consequences” should there be a Russian invasion.

Scholz called on Russia to pursue “clear steps” to de-escalate tensions but added: “If there is aggression, there will be retaliation and the cost will be very high.”

Representatives from Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France will meet in Paris tor talks on Wednesday in what’s known as the Normandy format, a development which was praised by Scholz.

The French president also said he would hold phone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, as part of a “demanding dialogue” with the Kremlin.

What is the latest situation in Ukraine?
Western countries are concerned that Russia may attack its neighbor. Officials say as many as 100,000 Russian troops have gathered near the border with Ukraine.

The US and the UK have pulled families of diplomats out of Kyiv.

Moscow denies plans to invade. It blames the West for the tension and has put forward a list of demands, including a guarantee that Ukraine never join NATO and that the military alliance stops any eastward expansion.

NATO said on Monday it wasdispatching additional fighter jets and ships to Eastern Europe amid the current tension.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has tried to allay fears, telling people not to panic. “We are strong enough to keep everything under control and derail any attempts at destabilization,” Zelenskyy said in a televized address.

While the country’s minister of defense Oleksii Reznikov said that there weren’t any immediate signs to suggest an invasion was imminent.

DW


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