On Sunday, Joe Biden spoke with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky about the Russian military buildup near his nation’s border and promised that the U.S. would lead its allies in “acting decisively” in Russia’s event invades Ukraine.
The conference came as the U.S. plans for a series of diplomatic negotiations intended to step down the crisis. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the situation on the Ukrainian border could break down diplomatic ties with the U.S. government.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated the call saying Biden was clear in asserting that the U.S. and its allies will “respond decisively” to a Russian invasion of Ukraine and has been receiving active input from European partners regarding ongoing policy negotiations.
As recently as last month, Biden said that a U.S. military response in Ukraine is “not on the table,” although he said severe economic sanctions will be imposed if necessary.
Zelensky said in a Sunday Twitter post that Ukraine appreciates America’s “unwavering support.”
Russia has steadfastly demanded that NATO not accept Ukraine or any other former member nations of the Soviet Union as new members. It has also required that NATO remove offensive weapon systems from Ukraine.
NATO and the U.S. maintain that membership is open to any nation that qualifies and that no nation outside of the alliance has any power over its membership decisions.
American diplomats are set to meet with their Russian counterparts on January 9-10 in Geneva to talk about the situation in Ukraine. Last Thursday, Biden spoke with Putin by videoconference during which Biden reportedly warned Putin of a “heavy price” in sanctions in the event of any further military actions against Ukraine.
In recent years, Russian aggression in the region bears heavily on the current negotiations. In 2014, Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine by sending Russian troops into the area. The hostile act marked a tragic moment for President Obama.
President George W. Bush saw America’s relationship with Russia suffer great damage when Russia invaded neighboring Georgia over a dispute regarding control of South Ossetia.