US comments on Russia’s ‘Ukraine invasion’
The US doesn’t believe Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a decision to “invade” Ukraine, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has said, in wake of this week’s video-link talks with US President Joe Biden.
“We still do not believe that President Putin has made a decision” to “further invade” Ukraine, Sullivan told reporters at the White House on Tuesday afternoon.
“What President Biden did today was lay out very clearly the consequences if he chooses to move.”
The Biden administration has previously accused Moscow of planning an invasion of Ukraine in January, which the Kremlin has rejected as “fake news.”
On Tuesday, Sullivan – who was on the call with Putin – said the US was ready to “fortify our NATO allies on the eastern flank with additional capabilities,” which he did not specify, in case Russian troops crossed into Ukraine.
He would not disclose specific sanctions and measures the US threatened Russia with, but said that “things we did not do in 2014, we are prepared to do now.”
Answering a question about the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which would transport natural gas from Russia to Germany once it receives approval by regulators in Berlin, Sullivan said that it was not leverage for Putin at the moment, but “leverage for the West” instead. “Gas is not currently flowing” through Nord Stream 2, Sullivan said, and if Putin wants to see it flow, he will refrain from invading Ukraine, he claimed.