– White House determines how to proceed in the event of a Russian attack
The United States threatens Russia with dire consequences in the event of a military escalation in the Ukrainian conflict. The US government is not currently considering a direct military response.
Ahead of a video summit between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the White House outlined possible scenarios for a Russian attack on Ukraine: the United States would then be ready for “severe economic sanctions” and for more troops to be stationed in Eastern Europe. A senior government official in Washington said on Monday. Washington is not currently considering a direct military response.
If Putin invades, the government official said, “there will be an increased demand from allies on the eastern side and a positive response from the United States for additional soldiers, resources and training.” He added that the United States was not interested in “finding itself in a situation where the direct use of US forces is at the heart of our considerations.”
In the event of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Washington prefers a “combination” of several elements: “support for the Ukrainian army,” “strict economic sanctions” and “a significant increase in support and capabilities for our NATO allies.”
Biden coordinates with European allies
The government representative said Biden will coordinate with his European allies ahead of the video summit with Putin. In addition, Biden will speak with important European allies to coordinate his message later in the day. After a video summit with Putin on Tuesday, Biden will inform Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selinsky.
A representative of the US government said that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will also speak to Zelensky before the video summit. Washington accuses Moscow of preparing a military invasion of Ukraine, which the Russian government denies.
Zelensky visits soldiers on the front line
Zelensky visited soldiers on the front line in the east of his country on the eve of the video summit. He visited sites in the Donetsk region and thanked the soldiers for “protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” the presidential office in Kiev declared. “With people like you we will definitely win,” Zelensky said accordingly.
In the photos distributed by the Ukrainian presidential office, you can see how the 43-year-old president, wearing a helmet and flak jacket, presents awards to soldiers. The visit of the troops took place on the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the Ukrainian army. It was established after the former Soviet Republic gained its independence from Moscow in 1991.
Pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian army have been fighting in eastern Ukraine since 2014 after Moscow annexed Crimea. In the conflict, Russia supports the separatists who have declared the so-called people’s republics of Luhansk and Donetsk. More than 13,000 people have died in the conflict so far.
Troop movements at the border
Tensions between Russia and the West in the Ukraine conflict have increased significantly recently. As Russian forces move to the border with Ukraine, there are fears that Moscow will attack the neighboring country. The government in Kiev on Friday warned of a major Russian attack at the end of January.
These concerns were raised by a report in the Washington Post. Accordingly, Moscow’s plans include “intensive movements of hundreds of battalions of tactical units with an estimated 175,000 men, along with tanks, artillery and equipment.”
It is also conceivable that Putin will use forces concentrated on the border with Ukraine to pressure Biden. Putin wants a guarantee that the former Soviet republic will not become a member of NATO.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that Moscow did not expect a “breakthrough” from the talks. However, “it’s always better to talk to each other.”