We’ll Respond in Kind if you Attack Ukraine – Biden Warns Putin
By Lawan Bukar Maigana, with agency reports
President Joe Biden warned Putin in a one-hour phone call Saturday evening, expressed readiness to take decisive actions on Russia should they invade Ukraine.
Biden added such a step would produce widespread hardship and isolate Moscow.
Biden said that the US government and its allies are ready to strike at Russia if they invade Ukraine, sought withdrawal of plans for invasion.
A senior Biden administration official said the call was professional and substantive, but that there was no fundamental change, adding that neither side said there had been an understanding between them after the call.
The Kremlin said Putin told Biden Washington has failed to take Russia’s main concerns into account, and it had received no “substantial answer” on key elements including NATO’s expansion and the deployment of offensive forces to Ukraine.
The senior Biden administration official expressed doubt, saying: “it was unclear whether Putin was committed to diplomacy even as he agreed to stay in touch with Biden.”
Portugal, Belgium, and Israel who had earlier asked their citizens to leave Ukraine immediately were also in the phone call Biden and Putin had.
The U.S. State Department also ordered most of its embassy staff to leave Ukraine. The Pentagon said it was withdrawing about 150 military trainers.