Washington: US President Joe Biden says Washington never planned to send troops to Ukraine, but the US has warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that there will be consequences in case of any aggression.
“They never were on the table,” Biden told reporters on Saturday when asked about why the US had decided to abandon plans of sending combat troops to Ukraine.
The US president added that in case Russia decides to attack Ukraine, the US will boost American troop presence in NATO countries and Moscow will “pay a terrible price” in terms of its world image, as well as economy.
“I’ve made it absolutely clear to President Putin … that if he moves on Ukraine, the economic consequences for his economy are going to be devastating,” Biden said, adding that the US “will have to send more American and NATO troops into the eastern flank” and “the impact of all of that on Russia and its attitude, the rest of the world’s view on Russia, will change markedly.”
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Greek TV channel ANT1 on Saturday that Russia is not planning any attacks on Ukraine. Peskov also criticized Turkey for selling its drones, which are used by Kiev in Donbas, to Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin held a secured telephone call with Biden on Tuesday, discussing the alleged gathering of Russian troops near Ukraine’s borders.
Over the past several weeks, Kiev and some Western countries have accused Moscow of amassing troops near its border with Ukraine. Moscow, for its part, has repeatedly rejected the accusations saying that the West wants to use them as an excuse to deploy NATO military equipment near the Russian border.
The US State Department said on Saturday that Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Karen Donfried, will visit Moscow and Kiev on December 13-15, and will then meet with EU representatives in Brussels to discuss a diplomatic resolution of the situation in Ukraine.