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20 Feb, 2022 02:45

Biden to convene national security meeting on Ukraine

US President Joe Biden will hold a rare Sunday meeting with the National Security Council
Biden to convene national security meeting on Ukraine

US President Joe Biden is set to convene a meeting with the National Security Council to discuss the “situation in Ukraine” on Sunday, after he claimed that “significant intelligence” indicated Russia would invade Ukraine “in the coming days.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced on Saturday that Biden would convene the meeting “on the situation in Ukraine” the next day.

“President Biden continues to monitor the evolving situation in Ukraine, and is being updated regularly about events on the ground by his national security team,” Psaki said. “They reaffirmed that Russia could launch an attack against Ukraine at any time.”

Biden told journalists on Friday that the White House had “reason to believe that Russian forces are planning to and intend to attack Ukraine in the coming week — in the coming days.”

“We believe that they will target Ukraine’s capital Kiev,” Biden claimed.

The president refused to provide evidence for the claims, instead assuring skeptics that the White House had “a significant intelligence capability.”

US Vice President Kamala Harris met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the Munich Security Conference in Germany on Saturday, during which he thanked the US for its recent military aid.

However, Zelensky also criticized the Biden administration’s constant invasion warnings, saying, “To help Ukraine, there is no need to constantly talk about possible invasion dates… You’re telling me that it's 100% that the war will start in a couple of days. Then what [are you] waiting for?”

Western officials have been warning for months that Moscow is pulling its troops to the shared border ahead of ordering a full-scale attack against its neighbor, accusations the Kremlin has repeatedly denied.

Ukraine has also accused Russia of seeking to create a pretext for an invasion. Moscow has categorically denied the allegations. On Friday, the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk announced the urgent evacuation of civilians to Russia, citing fears of the imminent threat of an attack by Ukrainian forces, which Kiev also denies.

Amid the flurry of accusations that Russia is plotting an invasion, Moscow has sought to gain security assurances that would rule out NATO’s expansion closer to its borders and block Kiev from joining its ranks.