Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was responding to Biden’s comments that an invasion was likely “in the next few days.”
On Thursday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that Russian forces are preparing to launch an attack on Ukraine in the “coming days”, adding that Russia plans to create a pretext for an attack on its neighbor that may include an imaginary or real attack using chemical weapons.
Blinken added, before a meeting of the UN Security Council on Ukraine, that he sent a letter to his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, earlier Thursday, proposing to hold a meeting in Europe next week, calling on Russia to declare clearly and frankly during the meeting that it will not invade Ukraine.
On Thursday, US President Joe Biden, before leaving the White House for a short visit to Ohio, warned that the risk of a Russian invasion of Ukraine was “very high.”
He told reporters that a Russian attack could take place “in the coming days”, noting that he had “no intention” of contacting his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
“All the indications that we have are that they are ready to enter Ukraine, to attack Ukraine,” he added.
Biden had previously warned repeatedly of the danger of an invasion, but he was declaring at the same time that Vladimir Putin had not made up his mind in this regard.
Washington intensified its warnings in this regard a few hours ago, stressing that Russia is not withdrawing its forces from the Ukrainian border as promised, but, on the contrary, continues to strengthen its deployment.
Moscow expels US diplomat
For its part, Moscow expelled the second official in the US embassy, and sent the ambassador a strongly worded letter accusing Washington of ignoring its security demands. It threatened unspecified “military-technical measures”.
The US State Department said Russia had not provided an explanation for its decision to expel Deputy Ambassador Bart Gorman from the US Embassy in Moscow.
A spokesman said, “Russia’s action against the deputy head of the mission is not justified, and we consider it an escalatory step, and we are discussing a response to it.”
For its part, Russia delivered a letter to the US ambassador accusing Washington of ignoring its security demands, which include a pledge never to allow Ukraine to join NATO.
“In the absence of the willingness of the American side to agree to strict and legally binding guarantees of our security from the United States and its allies, Russia will be forced to respond, including by carrying out technical military measures,” the document said.
war of words
An exchange of fire between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists inside Ukraine early Thursday morning raised fears of war.
Western officials have repeatedly warned that Moscow may try to find an excuse to justify its invasion and said they believe that scenario is now unfolding.
“Evidence on the ground indicates that Russia is heading toward an imminent invasion. This is a defining moment,” US Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas Greenfield, told reporters.
At NATO headquarters in Brussels, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said: “We see them pushing more combat and support aircraft. We see them stepping up their preparedness in the Black Sea. What’s more, we see them stockpiling blood supplies.”
“I was a soldier until not so long ago,” Austin added. “I know firsthand that these things don’t happen without reason…and no one would do that if they were ready to pack up and come back.”