A SURPRISE phone call between Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will be conducted on Saturday in Ukraine.
It is the first time the two world-powerful leaders have spoken since December and comes less than 24 hours after Washington said the volatile situation could erupt into violence at any moment.
Foreign Minister Antony Blinken called this a “critical moment” for diplomacy as Russia continues to build up its military presence near the Ukrainian border, The New York Post reported.
“So far, we’ve only seen escalation from Moscow,” Blinken said on Saturday after speaking with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “This is an important moment. We are prepared for whatever will happen. ”
Mr. Biden said the US military would not go to war in Ukraine but promised severe economic sanctions against Moscow if Russia invaded.
However, Washington and other Western nations are preparing for the possibility of war between Russia and Ukraine.
The United States has ordered all non-essential employees and citizens to evacuate the country, including embassy staff, private citizens, and about 150 Florida National Guard soldiers.
Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands also urged their citizens to leave Ukraine.
Putin has denied having plans to invade the country, but Russia continues to build up its military near Ukraine.
The United States has gathered intelligence that Russia is viewing Wednesday as a target date for invasion, a US official familiar with the findings told Related press.
The official, who was not authorized to speak publicly and did so only on condition of anonymity, would not comment on the authenticity of the intelligence.
The White House has publicly emphasized that the United States does not know for certain that Russia is planning an attack.
But this large military building worries American officials.
They told the Associated Press that penetration had been reached on short notice.
The Kremlin issued an official statement ahead of Saturday’s discussion that there were “provocative speculations about an alleged Russian “invasion” of Ukraine.”
More to follow…
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/4673730/us-russia-ukraine-talks/ Biden and Putin hold a crisis phone call about Ukraine because of concerns about a spiral of Russian aggression