Biden: No plans to speak with Putin amid ‘rupture’ in US-Russia ties

Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Biden
Sputnik/AP - UPI Photo

President Biden on Thursday said he had no plans to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid what he called a “complete rupture” in relations between the two countries after Russia invaded Ukraine overnight.

“There is a complete rupture right now in U.S.-Russia relations if they continue on this path they’re on,” Biden after announcing additional sanctions against Russia for its aggression in Ukraine.

Biden last spoke to Putin via phone on Feb. 12, with the president warning of consequences if Russia moved forward with an attack on Ukraine as it amassed troops along the border. Diplomatic relations have broken down in recent days, however.

Asked about the risk of another Cold War, Biden noted “the vast majority of the rest of the world” is united in opposition to Putin’s attacks on Ukraine.

“So it’s going to be a cold day for Russia… You don’t see a whole lot of people coming to his defense,” Biden said.

Biden’s remarks came as the United States and its European allies announced a coordinated round of sanctions meant to cripple the Russian economy in response to its attacks on Ukraine.

The president announced sanctions on four additional Russian banks, including its second largest one, and on more Russian elites in addition to those targeted by sanctions earlier in the week. The goal, Biden said, would be to squeeze the Russian economy over time so its war in Ukraine becomes untenable.

Russian forces moved into Ukraine overnight Thursday, with video and reports on the ground documenting military planes, shelling and troop movements in various parts of the country, including the capital of Kyiv.

Pentagon officials warned in a briefing on Thursday morning that Russian forces are likely to try to remove the Ukrainian government, a sign that the attacks are likely to only grow more intense in the coming days.

Putin launched the military invasion in an address delivered before 6 a.m. Moscow time on Thursday.

Putin on Tuesday had recognized two areas in eastern Ukrainian as independent republics, allowing the Russian military to overtly provide support to Russian-backed separatists there. That move came after he delivered a speech in which he accused Western experts of rewriting history, questioned the independence of Ukraine, and portrayed the nation as historically and culturally Russian.

The Russian invasion has sparked large protests in parts of Russia, with police in cracking down and arresting demonstrators.

In Ukraine, scores of people are attempting to flee the country to neighboring countries.

Tags Joe Biden Russia Russia-Ukraine conflict Ukraine Vladimir Putin

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