Putin yet to make final call on invading Ukraine, says US

15 February 2022, 01:26 PM

The United States believes Russian President Vladimir Putin has yet to make a final decision on whether to launch an invasion of Ukraine, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said during a daily press briefing on Feb. 14.

We’re not saying that President Putin has made a final decision, … we believe that there still remains a window to resolve this through dialogue and diplomacy,” Price said.

According to him, the United States remains ready for any turn of events, “knowing that President Putin may well decide to order an invasion and now has the ability to do so in short order.”

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Price’s statement comes as a response to various media reports that the United States had determined Feb. 16 to be the day the Russian military launches a full-scale offensive against Ukraine, though Ukrainian experts believe that to be unlikely.

On Feb. 10, U.S. President Joe Biden met with his national security advisors to discuss the situation around Ukraine’s borders, according to international news agency Reuters. Russian naval exercises in the Black Sea and military drills in Belarus left officials convinced that “the situation is approaching a critical point.”

Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that media is oversaturated on the subject of a potential Russian invasion, and urged the public to remain calm, assuring them that “everything is under control.”

Russia has deployed additional forces near Ukraine’s border and could launch an invasion at a moment’s notice, even during the Beijing Winter Olympics, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Feb. 11.

U.S. media outlet Politico reported that U.S. President Joe Biden has briefed Washington’s NATO and EU allies on Moscow’s plans to invade Ukraine on Feb. 16.

The Kremlin responded by accusing Western media of a “large-scale misinformation campaign.”

Currently, there are approximately 140,000 Russian troops surrounding Ukraine, from Russia, Belarus, and the temporarily occupied territories.

The Kremlin denies gearing up for invasion, and has instead accused Ukraine of planning false flag operations, as well as of drawing up plans to use force to restore Kyiv’s control over territories lost since 2014.

However, the Kremlin has declined to provide a guarantee of non-invasion, and has supplied no evidence of this alleged planned Ukrainian offensive.

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