Biden Warns Putin Taking Military Action against Ukraine May Incur 'Very Real Costs'
The U.S believes Russia is putting the in-place capacity to in military action
Joe Biden is set to tell Russian President Vladimir Putin about the "very real costs" of taking military action against Ukraine in an upcoming video call Tuesday.
Russia has already deployed 90,000 combat troops along Ukraine's border.
Biden will supposedly lay out a range of actions the U.S. and its European allies would take, such as additional sanctions, if Russia invades Ukraine.
The U.S believes Russia is putting the forces in-place to begin military action.
But it is not clear whether Putin will follow through with the plans.
On top of the military buildup, reports say Russia also has been ramping up a misinformation campaign to make Ukraine appear as the aggressor.
NBC News reports:
The U.S. and European allies have been in "intensive discussions" about what they would collectively do if Russia invades Ukraine, including "substantial economic countermeasures" that would cause "deep economic harm," the official said.
"When it comes to Ukraine, we have made clear our deep concern about evidence that Russia is stepping up its planning for significant military action against Ukraine," the official said.
The official declined to say whether the U.S. would take direct military action against Russia if there were an invasion but said the focus is on using other diplomatic methods.
"The United States is not seeking to end up in a circumstance in which the focus of our countermeasures is directly from American military force as opposed to a combination of support for the Ukrainian military, strong economic countermeasures and the substantial increase in support and capability to our NATO allies," the official said.
Russia has publicly denied any aggressive plans toward Ukraine while pushing for a guarantee from Washington that Ukraine won’t join NATO.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed plans for the conversation Saturday.
"The leaders will discuss a range of topics in the U.S.-Russia relationship, including strategic stability, cyber, and regional issues," Psaki said in a statement.
Biden also plans to address cybersecurity concerns and the Iran nuclear deal, the official said.
Russia has pushed to keep Ukraine from being able to join NATO.
The administration official said the U.S. will leave the decision up to NATO members and Ukraine, adding that the U.S. supports discussions between NATO and Russia to address "larger issues of concern on both sides — Russia's concerns with NATO activities and NATO and American concerns with Russian activities.”
Biden will speak with key European allies before the call to coordinate his message and ensure that he goes in with a united front.
The call follows weeks of diplomacy with European allies, as well as discussions with Russia and Ukraine at multiple levels.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken will speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy before the call, and Biden will talk to Zelenskiy in the days afterward.