Biden warns Russian President Putin not to invade Ukraine

Washington (Associated Press)-President Joe Biden vowed on Friday to make Russian President Vladimir Putin take military action in Ukraine “very, very difficult” and said that his government is developing a series of comprehensive measures to contain Russian aggression.

The president issued a cautious warning to Putin due to growing concerns about Russia’s gathering of troops on the Ukrainian border and the increasing belligerence of the Kremlin.

“What I am doing is to integrate what I think will be the most comprehensive and meaningful series of measures, making it difficult for Mr. Putin to continue to do what people worry about him might do,” Biden said.

There are signs that the White House and the Kremlin will arrange a dialogue between Biden and Putin next week. Putin’s foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, told reporters on Friday that Putin’s call with Biden has been scheduled for the next few days, adding that the date will be announced after Moscow and Washington finalize the details. The Russians said they had reached an agreement on the date, but declined to disclose the exact time.

Biden did not elaborate on what actions he is weighing. But Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who met with Secretary of State Anthony Brinken in Sweden on Thursday, said the United States has threatened to impose new sanctions. He did not elaborate on possible sanctions, but said that such efforts will not work.

“If new’sanctions from hell’ come, we will respond,” Lavrov said. “We can’t help but respond.”

During the Brinken-Lavrov meeting, there were profound differences. Russian officials accused the West of denying Russia a say in any further expansion of NATO to the former Soviet Union. This was “playing with fire.” Ukrainian President Zelensky pushed Ukraine to join the alliance, and the alliance promised to join the alliance, but did not set a timetable.

Blinken said this week that the United States “has made it clear to the Kremlin that we will respond firmly, including a series of high-impact economic measures that we have avoided in the past.”

He did not elaborate on which sanctions are being weighed, but it may be to disconnect Russia from the SWIFT international payment system. The European Parliament approved a non-binding resolution in April that would cut Russia’s ties with SWIFT if Russian troops enter Ukraine.

This move will greatly help prevent Russian companies from entering the global financial system. According to reports, Western allies considered such steps in 2014 and 2015, when the tensions in Ukraine led by Russia escalated earlier.

The then Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that this was tantamount to “declaring war.”

Isachenkov reports from Moscow. Associated Press writer Ellen Knickmeyer in Washington contributed reporting to this article.

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