Biden doesn’t have ‘desire’ for conflict with Russia says expert
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It comes as leaders Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin are set to hold talks where the US President will make it clear he does not rule out future Ukrainian membership of Nato.
US secretary of state Antony Blinken spoke to Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy where the two agreed to “joint and concerted action”.
An estimated 175,000 Russian troops are already gathered at the border as Boris Johnson told world leaders the UK will use “all the economic and diplomatic tools at its disposal” to prevent any invasion.
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Biden to tell Putin he’ll face toughest sanctions
US President Joe Biden is expected to encourage diplomatic de-escalation when he speaks to Russian leader Vladimir Putin later today.
Officials said Biden will tell him that Russia will be hit with the toughest economic sanctions yet if it invades Ukraine.
They said the sanctions, which a source said could target Russia’s biggest banks and Moscow’s ability to convert roubles into dollars and other currencies, were designed to dissuade Putin from using thousands of troops massed near the Ukrainian border to attack.
World leaders hold overnight talks
As fears grow, Boris Johnson held a video call with Joe Biden, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
The video conference looked to present a “united front” of NATO leaders.
No 10 said the leaders called on Russia to “de-escalate tensions and reaffirmed their staunch support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity”.
Following the call, the White House said leaders “agreed that diplomacy, especially thought the Normandy Format, is the only way forward to resolve the conflict”.
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