Washington, Dec 9 (EFE).- The president of the United States on Thursday conveyed to his Ukrainian counterpart Washington’s commitment to respond to any attack by Moscow against Kiev with “strong economic and other measures.”
Joe Biden “voiced [to Volodymyr Zelensky] the deep concerns of the United States and our European Allies about Russia’s aggressive actions towards Ukraine and made clear that the U.S. and our Allies would respond with strong economic and other measures in the event of a further military intervention,” the White House said.
“He reaffirmed the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and both sides “called on Russia to de-escalate tensions and agreed that diplomacy is the best way to make meaningful progress on conflict resolution.”
Biden also assured Zelensky that “no decisions or discussions about Ukraine without Ukraine.”
Washington and Kiev believe that Moscow is preparing an incursion into Ukrainian territory that could take place in early 2022, and that it has deployed between 70,000 and 94,000 Russian soldiers on its border with the neighboring country, according to US intelligence estimates cited by local media.
The president was also to update Zelensky on the virtual meeting two days ago with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in her daily press conference while the call was taking place.
Psaki added that Biden communicated to Putin in their Tuesday meeting that “one nation can’t force another nation to change its border, one nation cannot tell another to change its politics, and nations can’t tell others who they can work with.”
The US president also warned Putin that he will respond to any Russian attack on Ukraine with strong economic measures, which could include the suspension of a Russian gas pipeline, in addition to strengthening NATO defenses on the eastern flank.
After the talk with the Ukrainian leader, Biden made another call with the leaders of the so-called Bucharest Nine group of eastern flank NATO members Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
“The leaders discussed Russia’s destabilizing military buildup along Ukraine’s border and the need for a united, ready, and resolute NATO stance for the collective defense of Allies,” the White House said.
“President Biden stressed the U.S. commitment to continued close consultation and coordination with all our Transatlantic Allies and partners as we work towards de-escalation of the current crisis through deterrence, defense, and dialogue.” EFE