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Joe Biden to warn Vladimir Putin of economic pain if he invades Ukraine

·2-min read
 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

US President Joe Biden will warn Vladimir Putin of severe economic consequences should Russia go ahead with an invasion of Ukraine, a senior official said on Monday.

Mr Biden and Mr Putin are to hold a video call on Tuesday as the US attempts to deter Russia from launching military action against Ukraine after Moscow deployed tens of thousands of troops to the country’s border.

Mr Biden is said to have spoken to the UK, France and Germany ahead of the call, to discuss their “shared concern about the Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s borders and Russia’s increasingly harsh rhetoric” and support for deescalating tensions in the region.

It comes as Ukraine’s defence minister Oleksii Reznikov warned there is an estimated 94,300 Russian troops near the border between the two countries and in Russia-annexed Crimea.

Downing Street said Mr Johnson promised the group that Britain would “continue to use all the economic and diplomatic tools at its disposal to prevent any Russian aggression against Ukraine”.

A No10 spokesman said: “The leaders agreed that recent meetings of the G20 and of NATO foreign ministers had been useful forums for discussions on this issue.

“They emphasised the need to provide a united front in the face of Russian threats and hostility.

“The leaders called on Russia to de-escalate tensions and reaffirmed their staunch support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity.”

The official said the US had been working with European allies to produce a strong response should an invasion happen.

He added that the United States and Europe would impose severe economic pain.

“We believe there is a way forward to allow us to send a clear message to Russia that there will be enduring and meaningful costs” should an invasion take place, the official said.

Russia has denied reports about a possible attack on Ukraine, saying that Washington is intentionally trying to aggravate the situation.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Monday, reiterating Washington’s “unwavering support” for Ukraine in the face of “Russian aggression,” the US Statement Department said.

Ties between Russia and Ukraine deteriorated in 2014 after Moscow-backed forces seized part of eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian officials have said that around 14,000 people have been killed in fighting between the groups since then.

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