Russia, US to discuss Ukraine on Feb 24: Biden

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Washington, (UNI): Russia and the US will hold meeting on Ukraine issue on February 24, said President Joe Biden while warning Moscow of heavy consequences if it chooses war before the meeting.

Speaking at the White House on Friday, Biden said, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday agreed to hold discussions on the matter on February 24. “But if Russia takes military action before that date, it will be clear that they have slammed the door shut on diplomacy.

They will have chosen war, and they will pay a steep price for doing so, not only from the sanctions that we and our allies will impose on Russia, but the moral outrage that the rest of the world will visit upon them,” he said.

The President also stressed that Russian President Vladimir Putin has made the decision to invade Ukraine. He said, “As of this moment, I’m convinced he’s made a decision. We have reason to believe that.”

He further said that the Russian forces intend to attack Ukraine “in the comming week” or sooner and “they will target Ukraine’s capital Kiev, a city of 2.8 million innocent people”.

 

“We’re calling out Russia’s plans loudly and repeatedly, not because we want a conflict, but because we’re doing everything in our power to remove any reason that Russia may give to justify invading Ukraine and prevent them from moving,” he said. “Make no mistake. If Russia pursues its plans, it will be responsible for a catastrophic and needless war of choice,” he pointed out.

 

Citing several examples of disinformation being spread by the Russian state media, including a “phony” claim of genocide in the Donbas region, the President said, “Over the last few days, we’ve seen reports of a major uptick in violations of the ceasefire by Russian-backed fighters attempting to provoke Ukraine in the Donbas.” While warning Russia against invading Ukraine, he said that Russia can “choose diplomacy” as it is “not too late to de-escalate and return to the negotiating table”.

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