President Biden warns Ukraine of Russian Invasion in February

The White House says President Joe Biden warned Ukraine‘s president Thursday that there is a “distinct possibility” Russia could take military action against Ukraine in February. The Kremlin likewise sounded a grim note, saying it saw “little ground for optimism” in resolving the crisis after the U.S. this week again rejected Russia’s main demands.

Russian officials said dialogue was still possible to end the crisis, but Biden again offered a stark warning amid growing concerns that Russian President Vladimir Putin will give the go-ahead for a further invasion of Ukrainian territory in the not-so-distant future.

The White House said Biden’s comments to Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a phone call amplified concerns that administration officials have been making for some time.

“President Biden said that there is a distinct possibility that the Russians could invade Ukraine in February,” White House National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said. “He has said this publicly and we have been warning about this for months. ”

Tensions have soared in recent weeks, as the United States and its NATO allies expressed concern that a buildup of about 100,000 Russian troops near Ukraine signaled that Moscow planned to invade its ex-Soviet neighbour.

 

Russia denies having any such designs and has laid out a series of demands it says will improve security in Europe.

But as expected, the U.S. and the Western alliance firmly rejected any concessions on Moscow’s main points Wednesday, refusing to permanently ban Ukraine from joining NATO and saying allied deployments of troops and military equipment in Eastern Europe are nonnegotiable.

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