Biden Is Still Willing to Talk to Putin, Blinken Says

Biden Is Nonetheless Keen to Discuss to Putin, Blinken Says

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken stated on Sunday that President Biden was nonetheless prepared to speak to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia regardless of the U.S. authorities’s evaluation that Mr. Putin has already determined to invade Ukraine.

“We consider President Putin has made the choice, however till the tanks are literally rolling, and the planes are flying, we are going to use each alternative and each minute we now have to see if diplomacy can nonetheless dissuade President Putin from carrying this ahead,” Mr. Blinken stated on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Mr. Biden and Mr. Putin final spoke for one hour by phone on Feb. 12. In that decision, Mr. Biden warned Mr. Putin {that a} new invasion of Ukraine would end in “swift and extreme” prices for Russia. Mr. Biden has promised to impose harsh economic sanctions in opposition to Russia if Mr. Putin carries out an invasion, though Beijing, which has strengthened its ties to Moscow, may assist blunt these penalties.

Mr. Biden stated on Friday that he believed Russia would invade Ukraine inside days. In current weeks, the Russian army deployed greater than 150,000 troops round Ukraine, positioning them alongside the nation’s western border with Ukraine, on the Crimean Peninsula that Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014, and in Belarus, which has a pro-Moscow authorities. U.S. officers describe it as the biggest army buildup in Europe since World Struggle II.

Mr. Blinken stated on Sunday that Russia was nonetheless taking all of the steps anticipated by the USA for what may very well be a violent and large-scale incursion into Ukraine.

“As we’ve described it, every part main as much as the precise invasion seems to be happening,” he stated, hours after getting back from the Munich Safety Convention, the place he and Vice President Kamala Harris tried to rally nations to place strain on Russia to defuse the disaster.

He additionally criticized Russia’s choice to maintain troops in Belarus past this weekend, when joint army workout routines between the allies had been scheduled to finish. The Belarus Protection Ministry announced on Sunday that the international locations have been extending the workout routines. U.S. officers have warned that the workout routines may function a canopy for Russia to place fight forces nearer to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

“Now they’re justifying the continuation of workout routines that they stated would finish now,” Mr. Blinken stated, describing it as a part of Russia “persevering with to ramp up tensions.”

Mr. Blinken and Mr. Biden have stated Russia would attempt to create a pretext for an invasion of Ukraine, maybe within the type of violent “false flag” operations that Moscow would attribute to the Ukrainian army, and perform a disinformation marketing campaign to current justification for motion. Russia-backed insurgents in jap Ukraine have increased their artillery shelling of Ukrainian forces and civilian areas in current days. Professional-Russia officers who management the town of Donetsk have ordered residents to evacuate, claiming with out proof that the Ukrainian army is about to assault.

The State Division stated Thursday that Mr. Blinken had accepted an invitation from Sergey V. Lavrov, Russia’s overseas minister, to satisfy this week in Europe. The 2 struck a conciliatory tone once they met in Geneva on Jan. 21. However Mr. Putin proceeded to amass his army forces round Ukraine within the weeks afterward.

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