Biden to meet National Security Council as EU condemns Ukraine bombings
Washington DC, Feb 19 (EFE).- United States President Joe Biden will convene a meeting of the National Security Council on Sunday to discuss the situation in Ukraine, the White House said.
“President Biden continues to monitor the evolving situation in Ukraine, and is being updated regularly about events on the ground by his national security team,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement on Saturday.
“They reaffirmed that Russia could launch an attack against Ukraine at any time,” she added.
Biden was also briefed on Saturday on US Vice President Kamala Harris’ meetings in Munich with the President Zelenskyy of Ukraine, European Commission President von der Leyen and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, among others, according to the White House statement.
The crisis in Ukraine was the focus of the Munich Security Conference, where Harris gave an address and also met German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, Latvian President Egils Levits and the president of Lithuania, Gitanas Nauseda as well as Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotaki, according to Psaki.
On Friday, Biden said he is “convinced” that his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, has “made the decision” to invade Ukraine and has “reason to believe” the attack could happen in the “coming days.”
The president insisted that Russia is seeking to manufacture a pretext for the invasion and is fabricating false information to justify an attack on the neighboring country.
The European Union (EU) also expressed concern on Saturday about the possibility of Russia using “staged events” to justify possible military escalation.
“The EU is also witnessing an intensification of information manipulation efforts to support such objectives,” the bloc said in a statement.
“The EU urges Russia to engage in meaningful dialogue, diplomacy, show restraint and de-escalate,” it added, warning that “any further military aggression by Russia against Ukraine will have massive consequences and severe costs in response, including restrictive measures coordinated with partners.”
The bloc also condemned an “increase in ceasefire violations along the line of contact in eastern Ukraine in recent days.”
“The EU condemns the use of heavy weaponry and indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas, which constitute a clear violation of the Minsk agreements and international humanitarian law,” it added.
In recent days, the US has increased its estimate of Russian troops concentrated near Ukraine’s borders to 150,000 compared to 100,000 a few weeks ago.
It has also accused Moscow of cyberattacks targeting Ukraine. EFE