Biden to speak with Ukraine leader after warning Russia not to invade
US President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky are due to speak by phone on Sunday amid growing fears that a Russian military buildup near the border with its pro-Western neighbor heralds an invasion.The show of US support for Ukraine comes days after Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin of severe consequences if Moscow invades the former Soviet country.
Using some of his most direct language yet, Biden said Friday, “I’m not going to negotiate here in public, but we made it clear he cannot — I’ll emphasize, cannot — invade Ukraine.”
The US leader added, in remarks to reporters during a holiday stay in Delaware, that he had “made it clear to President Putin that we will have severe sanctions, we will increase our presence in Europe, with NATO allies” if Russia invades Ukraine.
The White House said that in Sunday’s call with Zelensky, Biden will “reaffirm US support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, discuss Russia’s military build-up on Ukraine’s borders, and review preparations for upcoming diplomatic engagements to help de-escalate the situation in the region.”