Biden Agrees to Putin Meeting

Biden Agrees to Putin Meeting

( – Foreign policy experts and US military leaders say the standoff between Russia and the West regarding Ukraine is the most serious escalation since World War II. Over the last year, Russia deployed 150,000 soldiers and armored equipment at Ukraine’s borders. On Sunday, February 20, Russia extended massive military drills in Belarus in a show of force that included thousands of soldiers, tanks, helicopters and advanced military aircraft.

The White House believes a full-scale Russian assault on Ukraine is imminent. Members of the media say they hear sounds of fighting between Ukrainian soldiers and Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country.

Late on Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron said he secured a summit between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The White House said it agreed in principle to a summit, but only if Putin refrained from invading Ukraine. Neither the Kremlin nor Ukrainian authorities confirmed the news out of France.

On February 24, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are scheduled to meet about the rising tensions. Russia still says it has no intentions of invading Ukraine. The West isn’t buying into their rhetoric. Recently, satellite imagery showed Russian military units deploying to forests, farms and industrial areas as little as 15 miles from the Ukrainian border.

UPDATE: On Monday, February 21, Russian forces moved to occupy two areas of Ukraine on the pretext of a peacekeeping mission at the direction of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Recognizing separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions as independent of Ukraine, Putin authorized Russian troops to “stabilize” the new territories. Biden imposed stringent economic sanctions, and more actions may follow. The situation is unstable and developing.

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