Biden speaks with Ukrainian president amid Russian threat

·1 min read

President Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Thursday afternoon, amid deepening worries about the prospect of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Biden "reaffirmed the readiness of the United States along with its allies and partners to respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine," according to a lengthy White House readout of the call.

Biden also affirmed U.S. support for Ukraine's sovereignty and told Zelensky the U.S. is "exploring additional macroeconomic support" to aid Ukraine's economy, which has been adversely impacted by Russia's military buildup on the border.

Biden's call with Zelensky was the third between the two leaders in less than two months as the U.S. and its European allies try to ward off a renewed Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has amassed over 100,000 troops at its border with Ukraine and shown no signs of changing its posture despite diplomatic overtures from the U.S. and European countries. The White House has warned that an invasion could happen at any moment.

Ukrainian leaders have disagreed with that assessment, insisting that an invasion is not imminent.

"We are strong enough to keep everything under control and derail any attempts at destabilization," Zelensky said earlier this week.

The U.S. decision to urge Americans in Ukraine and families of diplomatic personnel to leave the country has been a source of tension, with the Ukrainians characterizing it as premature.

"President Biden made clear that despite the departure of American family members of embassy personnel, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, remains open and fully operational," the White House readout said. "The leaders discussed coordinated diplomatic efforts on European security, underscoring the principle of 'nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine.'"

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