Biden and Putin are speaking this week


(CBS NEWS)

President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin will have a video call on Tuesday, the White House said on Saturday. The meeting takes place because US intelligence warns of you possible Russian invasion of Ukraine already in January.

“Leaders will discuss a number of issues in US-Russia relations, including strategic stability, cyber and regional issues,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. “President Biden will underscore US concerns about Russian military activities on the border with Ukraine and reaffirm US support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Tens of thousands of Russian troops have gathered at the Ukrainian border – months after thousands of troops mounted on the border in spring. But unlike the rearmament last spring, which was viewed as a show of force, US intelligence services are warning that they could prepare an actual advance into the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine.

“We know what President Putin has done in the past, we see that he will provide the capacity to act in a short space of time, and should he decide to invade, we therefore want to be prepared and in an area where we have serious concerns said Psaki. “So what he means by a group of packages is that we have a set of tools at our disposal. Of course, economic sanctions are an option. “

A possible Russian invasion of Ukraine could contain up to 175,000 soldiersa US official confirmed to CBS News last week. The plans envisage a large-scale movement of 100 tactical battalion groups with an estimated 175,000 men, as well as armaments, artillery and equipment, according to an administrative official.

Around 70,000 Russian soldiers are currently deployed against Ukraine, but they lack the support units necessary for an invasion. This support would come from reservists.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday that Putin’s actions at the border were “very, very worrying” not only for the US, but also for European heads of state and government. Blinken said there would be “far-reaching economic consequences” if Putin invades Ukraine.

“Well, we don’t know what President Putin’s intentions are,” said Blinken. “We don’t know if he decided to aggressively attack Ukraine again.”

In 2014 Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and gathered troops along the border. Blinking said last month “Our concern is that Russia could make the grave mistake of invading sovereign Ukrainian territory in 2014 when it rallied troops along the border and reopening it by falsely claiming it was provoked to get the point. “

Olivia Gazis and David Martin contributed to this report.


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