The News-Times

Kremlin: Putin to seek guarantees from Biden


The Kremlin said Friday that President Vladimir Putin will seek guarantees precluding NATO’s expansion to Ukraine during a planned call with U.S. President Joe Biden, as the Ukrainian defense minister warned that Russia could invade his country soon.

With tensions between Russia and the West escalating, Biden said his administra­tion was “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.”

“But that’s in play right now,” he told reporters in Washington.

Ukraine, the U.S. and other Western allies are increasing­ly concerned that a Russian troop buildup near the Ukrainian border could signal Moscow’s intention to invade. The U.S. has threatened the Kremlin with the toughest sanctions yet if it launches an attack, while Russia has warned that any presence of NATO troops and weapons on Ukrainian soil would cross a “red line.”

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov told lawmakers Friday that the number of Russian troops near Ukraine and in Russian-annexed Crimea is estimated at 94,300, warning that a “large-scale escalation” is possible in January.

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