Joe Biden pledges to make any Russian invasion of Ukraine ‘very, very difficult’

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Joe Biden helium said helium would marque it “very, precise difficult” for Russia to motorboat immoderate penetration of Ukraine, which warned that a large-scale onslaught could beryllium planned for adjacent month.

Washington and Kyiv accidental Moscow has massed troops adjacent Ukraine’s borders and impeach Russia of readying an invasion.

The Kremlin denies the allegations, and connected Friday said that a video telephone would instrumentality spot adjacent week between President Vladimir Putin and Biden.

Biden told reporters helium was putting unneurotic “the astir broad and meaningful acceptable of initiatives to marque it very, precise hard for Mr Putin to spell up and bash what radical are disquieted helium whitethorn do”.

Moscow seized Crimea from Ukraine successful 2014 and has since backed separatists warring Kiev successful the eastbound of the country. The struggle has near much than 13,000 dead.

“The astir apt clip to scope readiness for escalation volition beryllium the extremity of January,” the Ukrainian defence minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, told parliament successful Kyiv connected Friday.

The curate said a “winter grooming period” had started successful Russia and that Moscow had already launched exercises adjacent Ukrainian territory.

He estimated that Russia had astir 100,000 troops adjacent Ukraine’s border.

On the frontline successful eastbound Ukraine, authorities troops said they were acceptable to repel immoderate Russian assault.

“Our task is simple: not to fto the force participate our country,” a worker named Andriy, 29, told AFP, smoking successful a trench adjacent the frontline municipality of Svitlodarsk.

“All our guys are acceptable to clasp them back. This is our land, we volition support it until the end,” different soldier, Yevgen, 24, added.

The Kremlin overseas argumentation advisor Yuri Ushakov told reporters a day had been agreed for the Putin-Biden video acme but would not beryllium announced until last details of the talks person besides been set.

The United States has said the telephone is planned, but has not confirmed immoderate date.

Asked if helium had spoken to Putin connected Friday morning, Biden shouted “no” arsenic helium near the property league connected employment information successful Washington.

Despite accrued contacts betwixt the 2 rivals since Putin and Biden met for the archetypal clip astatine a acme successful Geneva successful June, tensions stay high.

As good arsenic the Ukraine conflict, Russia and the United States proceed to reason implicit cyber-attacks and the staffing of their embassies, aft respective waves of diplomatic expulsions.

The Ukrainian overseas minister, Dmytro Kuleba, told AFP connected Friday that it rejects immoderate efforts to get it to scrap its plans to articulation Nato.

Moscow wants to spot an extremity to Nato’s eastward expansion, aft overmuch of eastbound Europe joined the confederation pursuing the illness of the Soviet Union.

Agreeing to wantonness its plans to articulation the confederation “is not an option”, Kuleba said connected the sidelines of an OSCE gathering successful Stockholm.

“I cull this thought that we person to warrant thing to Russia. I importune that it’s Russia who has to warrant that it volition not proceed its aggression against immoderate country,” helium said.

Nato officially opened the doorway to Ukraine rank successful 2008, though nary advancement has been made since.