President Joe Biden said on Friday that he and his administration have plans to make it “very, very difficult” for Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine.
Biden and his team are creating a new set of initiatives to check Russia and make sure Ukraine is protected. But Biden made sure to calmly issue a warning to Putin before any of said initiatives become necessary.
The U.S. President is primarily concerned with an increased presence of Russian troops at the Ukrainian border. The Kremlin has also boasted war-ready rhetoric in its recent language.
“What I am doing is putting together what I believe will be the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for Mr. Putin to go ahead and do what people are worried he may do,” Biden told the press.
There are indications that the tensions are high enough that a meeting between the White House and the Kremlin may be held as soon as next week. Putin’s foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov told the press that the Kremlin had been organizing a call between the two leaders in the next coming days.
Will Biden has made sure not to name any specific consequences he is considering, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that he believes that Biden will put pressure on Russia with new sanctions.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Russia’s Foreign Minister on Thursday
Lavrov spoke with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Stockholm, Sweden on Thursday, where Blinken said that the U.S. would “have to respond” if Russia acted on Ukraine:
But Lavrov seemed unshaken by Blinken’s remark and Biden’s warning, saying that “If the new ‘sanctions from hell’ come, we will respond. We can’t fail to respond.”
Lavrov took his own position against the US at the meeting, saying that “the West” is “playing with fire” in preventing Moscow from participating in NATO’s expansion into countries that were once members of the former Soviet Union.
Blinken mentioned sanctions this week when he said the US has “made it clear to the Kremlin that we will respond resolutely, including with a range of high-impact economic measures that we’ve refrained from using in the past.”
He did not give further details on what sanctions the U.S. is considering, but the most likely strategy is to stymy Russian business’ international relations.