Russia warns Biden Ukraine sanctions would be ‘colossal mistake with grave consequences’ – World News

Russia’s foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov warns further US sanctions over the ongoing crisis in Ukraine ‘would be a colossal mistake that would entail grave consequences’

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks on the phone during a conversation with Tatyana Trotsenko, a schoolgirl and participant of a Christmas charity event, at his residence outside Moscow, Russia December 15, 2021
Putin said sanctions could rupture relations in a phone call on Thursday

US president Joe Biden has warned Vladimir Putin of new sanctions if Russia launches further attacks against Ukraine.

It came amid new claims Moscow is building forces near Ukraine, among them two large formations of elite paratroopers.

Putin said sanctions could rupture relations between the nations in a phone call on Thursday.

Russia’s foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov said further US sanctions “would be a colossal mistake that would entail grave consequences.”

Ushakov said Mr Putin told Mr Biden that Russia would act as the US would if offensive weapons were deployed near America.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Mr Biden “urged Russia to de-escalate tensions with Ukraine” and “made clear that the United States and its allies and partners will respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine”.

US President Joe Biden wants Russia to de-escalate tensions


AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Putin requested the call ahead of scheduled talks between senior US and Russian officials on January 9 and 10 in Geneva.

Russia demands Ukraine will never be allowed to join Nato and that the alliance’s military equipment will not be positioned in former Soviet states- demands rejected by the US.

It comes amid concerns Moscow has advanced more than 100,000 troops towards Ukraine’s border – a figure that may swell to 175,000 in the coming weeks.

Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces take part in a military exercise near Kiev on Christmas Day


AFP via Getty Images)

Earlier claims Moscow had withdrawn 10,000 troops are “dubious,” according to one source, who said: “These could be engineers who have helped set up the bases.”

Moscow commanders have built two fresh paratrooper regiments – one in Russian-occupied Crimea and the other in Pskov, west Russia.

Experts believe the build up in Crimea could signal the region, still recognised as Ukrainian and which was annexed in 2014, as a launch point for an invasion.

Russia on Friday claimed that Joe Biden had caved to Vladimir Putin’s demands after yesterday’s phone summit.

The Kremlin spun the talks to suggest that the US leader “agreed” with the Russian president’s insistence that Moscow required “security guarantees” from them and may launch a preemptive strike on Ukrainian forces in border zones, without a new land grab.

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