Biden tells Ukraine’s Zelensky, the United States will “react decisively” if Russia invades

US President Joe Biden told his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in a telephone conversation on Sunday that Washington and its allies would “react decisively” if Russia goes to invade its pro-Western neighbor, the White House said.

In a reading of the Biden-Zelensky conversation, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also said that US leaders expressed their support for diplomatic efforts, including planned talks between senior US and Russian officials that took place on January 9 and 10 in Geneva.

“President Biden made it clear that the United States and its allies and partners will respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine,” Psaki said in a statement.

Biden “also reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” she said.

Demonstration of US support for Ukraine comes days after Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin of serious consequences if Moscow invades the former Soviet Union.

Washington and its European allies accuse Russia of threatening Ukraine with a new invasion.

About 100,000 Russian troops are gathered near the border with the country, where Putin seized the Crimean region as early as 2014 and is accused of leading to a pro-Russian separatist war that broke out the same year in the east.

Moscow describes the troop presence as protection against NATO expansion, even though Ukraine has not been offered membership in the military alliance.

(AFP)

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