Joe Biden warns Putin of 'severe costs' of Ukraine invasion
Moscow, Feb 12: Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin have concluded a call to discuss the crisis in Ukraine as the White House says intelligence shows Russia could invade on short notice.
The call lasted 62 minutes, according to the White House. Biden planned once again to call on Putin to de-escalate and pull back the well over 100,000 Russia troops that have massed near Ukraine's borders.
"President Joe Biden spoke with Russian Pres Vladimir Putin over military buildup on Ukraine borders. Biden reiterated that further Russian invasion of Ukraine would produce widespread human suffering and diminish Russia's standing. US together with allies will respond decisively, the White House said in a statement.
"President Biden was clear with President Putin that the US remains prepared to engage in diplomacy, but is equally prepared for other scenarios. If Russia undertakes a further invasion of Ukraine, the US along with its allies, partners will impose swift and severe costs on Russia," it added.
A senior administration official suggested that there was no change by Putin in today's call with Biden, and a Russian invasion remains a "distinct possibility."
The U.S. picked up intelligence that Russia is looking at Wednesday as a target date for an invasion, according to a U.S. official familiar with the findings.
The official, who was not authorised to speak publicly and did so only on condition of anonymity, would not say how definitive the intelligence was.
The White House says publicly that the U.S. does not know with certainty whether Putin is committed to an invasion. Russia denies it intends to launch an offensive against Ukraine.