WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, President Joe Biden informed Russian President Vladimir Putin that if Moscow escalated its aggression against Ukraine, the United States and its allies were prepared to impose severe economic sanctions on Russia.
in a High-risk video conference callBiden emphasized that he is more willing to resolve the Ukrainian crisis through diplomatic channels. But he warned that the United States will provide Ukraine with additional defense resources beyond what it has already provided, and will seek to deploy more troops to strengthen its NATO allies in the region in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
White House National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan said that the two-hour discussion between the two leaders was “direct and direct.”
“There are many concessions,” Sullivan told reporters after the conference call. “He didn’t wave his fingers, but the president is very clear about the position of the United States on all these issues.”
The video conference call between Biden and Putin took place amid growing concerns about U.S. intelligence reports Russian troops gather at the Ukrainian border, To issue a warning that an intrusion may be imminent.
Sullivan said that the United States believes that Putin has not yet made a decision to invade Ukraine, but officials emphasized that if he chooses to do so, Russia is equipped to carry out such an upgrade.
Sullivan refused to explain what economic sanctions the United States and its allies might impose on Russia if Putin decides to invade Ukraine. But he said that Biden made it clear that although he prefers to resolve crises through diplomacy, the United States will take countermeasures seriously if necessary.
Sullivan stated that these measures would be stronger than the sanctions imposed in 2014, but failed to prevent Russia from occupying Crimea.
“President Biden looked into President Putin’s eyes and told him today that what we did not do in 2014, we are now ready to do it,” he said.
If the conflict between Russia and Ukraine escalates, Sullivan will not confirm reports that the United States and the incoming German government have reached an agreement to cut off the Beixi 2 pipeline, a controversial submarine natural gas pipeline planned to lead from Russia to Germany.
However, “If Vladimir Putin wants to see natural gas pass through that pipeline, he may not want to risk invading Ukraine,” he said.
Senior U.S. envoy Victoria Newland told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday that if Russia invades, “we expect the pipeline to be suspended.”
The Kremlin described the conversation between Biden and Putin as “frank and pragmatic” in the phone summary.
The Kremlin said: “Putin emphasized that it is wrong to pass the blame on Russia, because NATO has been dangerously trying to expand its presence on Ukrainian territory and has been expanding its military potential near the Russian border.”
After the video call ended, Biden had a conversation with French President Macron, German Chancellor Merkel, Italian Chancellor Draghi and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He introduced them to Putin’s conversation and discussed the way forward. They held consultations.
Sullivan said that Biden plans to discuss with Congress leaders the way the government and Congress can cooperate on a bipartisan basis in order to safeguard the interests of the United States and support our friends and partners.
Sullivan said that Biden also plans to speak with Ukrainian President Zelensky on Thursday.
Michael Collins and Matthew Brown report from the White House. Follow Collins @mcollinsNEWS and Brown @mrbrownsir on Twitter.
Contribution: Associated Press