Biden, Putin To Talk Over Rising Ukraine Tensions

- in World News
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US President Joe Biden and Russia’s Vladimir Putin will speak via video call on Tuesday, the White House says, as tensions over Ukraine mount.

It comes after Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US had evidence that Russia had made plans for a “large scale” attack on Ukraine.

But he added it was unclear if Mr Putin had made a final decision to invade, though Russia has denied the claims.

In a statement released on Saturday evening, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Mr Biden will “underscore US concerns with Russian military activities on the border with Ukraine and reaffirm the United States’ support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine” during his call with the Russian president.

Ukraine says Russia has deployed armoured vehicles, electronic warfare systems and 94,000 troops along their shared border.

It is the largest massing of Russian forces on its borders since it annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, BBC writes.

Citing intelligence reports, Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said Moscow could be planning a military offensive at the end of January.

The Russian troop movement has strained already tense relations between Russia and the US.

On Friday, Mr Biden warned he would make it “very, very difficult” for Mr Putin to “go ahead and do what people are worried he may do”.

The US and its European allies have discussed imposing sanctions on Russia if it takes aggressive action.

While Ukraine is not a Nato member, it has close ties with the bloc and has received Western weapons including US Javelin anti-tank missiles.

Russia meanwhile has denied plans of an invasion, accusing Nato of engaging in provocative behaviour by holding drills in the Black Sea, off Crimea.

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