On Friday, President Biden said he is working with allies to make it “very, very difficult” for Russian President Vladimir Putin to order an invasion of Ukraine. The US has been claiming Russia is preparing to move into Ukraine, but Moscow strongly denies the accusation.
“What I am doing is putting together what I believe to be … the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for Mr. Putin to go ahead and do what people are worried he may do,” Biden said.
Biden said he’s been in “constant contact” with European allies and Ukrainian officials over the issue. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken threatened sanctions against Russia if it invaded Ukraine. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also suggested alliance members could hit Russia with sanctions.
The Biden administration is also reportedly considering sending military advisors and more weapons to Ukraine, a move that would inflame tensions in the region even more. The potential weapons package could include new Javelin anti-tank missiles, mortars, and stinger missiles.
Since the 2014 US-backed coup in Kyiv, Washington has sent over $2 billion in military aid to Ukraine, and US and NATO military activity in the region has significantly increased. Moscow points to the NATO military presence near Russia’s borders as the source of tensions in the region.
On Thursday, Blinken met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The two diplomats made little progress but did agree for Biden and Putin to hold future talks. The Kremlin said Friday that it has a date for the talks and is awaiting confirmation from Washington.