United States President Joe Biden, in a phone discussion with his Kremlin counterpart Vladimir Putin, on Saturday, warned Russia of “swift and severe costs” if it attacked Ukraine, but the contact appears to have had little effect on tensions. ayokinews.com reports
A statement released by the White House quoted Biden as saying that “while the United States remains prepared to engage in diplomacy, in full coordination with our allies and partners, we are equally prepared for other scenarios.”
“President Biden was clear that, if Russia undertakes a further invasion of Ukraine, the United States together with our allies and partners will respond decisively and impose swift and severe costs on Russia,” the statement said.
The two presidents spoke for slightly over an hour and did not appear to make any progress in resolving the impasse between the West and Russia over the deployment of air, land, and sea forces on three sides to surround Ukraine.
The call was “professional and substantive,” a senior US official told newsmen. But “there was no fundamental change in the dynamics unfolding now for several weeks.”
According to the official, Washington has made recommendations to “enhance European security and also address some of Russia’s stated concerns,” while also vowing to protect and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty.
“It remains unclear whether Russia is interested in pursuing these goals diplomatically, as opposed to using force. We remain committed to keeping the prospect of de-escalation through diplomacy alive. But we’re also clear-eyed about the prospect of that, given the readily apparent steps Russia is taking on the ground,” the official said, while speaking on condition of anonymity.
“The stakes of this are too high not to give Russia every chance” to stand down, the official said. “So, as always, we continue along two paths.”
The US official added that “Russia is already finding itself increasingly isolated from the wider world and more depending on China.”
Source (Credit): AFP