Biden warns Russia’s Vladimir Putin against Ukraine invasion

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President Joe Biden on Friday vowed to make it “very, very difficult” for Russian President Vladimir Putin to take military action in Ukraine and said his administration was taking sweeping initiatives to stop a Russian offensive.

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The president offered a measured warning to Putin amid rising Russian troops on the Ukrainian border and belligerent rhetoric from the Kremlin.

“What I’m doing is putting together what I think will be the most comprehensive and meaningful initiative for Mr. Putin to pursue,” Biden said. from reporters.

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There are signs the White House and the Kremlin are close to arranging talks between Biden and Putin next week. Putin’s foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Friday that a Putin-Biden call has been arranged in the coming days, adding that the date would be announced after Moscow and Washington finalize details. The Russians say a date has been agreed, but declined to say when.

Biden did not elaborate on what actions he was weighing. But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who met with Foreign Minister Antony Blinken in Sweden on Thursday, said the US threatened new sanctions. He did not give details of possible sanctions, but suggested the effort would not be effective.

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“If new ‘bans from Hell’ come, we will respond,” Lavrov said. “We can’t fail to respond.”

Deep differences were on display during the Blinken–Lavrov meeting, with Russian officials accusing the West of “playing with fire” by denying Russia any further expansion of NATO into former Soviet Union countries. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged Ukraine to join the coalition, which delivers on a promise of membership but does not set a timeline.

Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Joe Biden

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