Political News

Biden to speak to nation as crisis with Russia over Ukraine escalates

Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden was set to speak to the nation Friday afternoon on what the White House said are U.S. efforts to ease tensions over Ukraine, amid increased shelling and possible false-flag attacks Russia could use to falsely justify an invasion.

Biden will make remarks after he holds a call with translatlantic leaders to discuss continued efforts at deterrence and diplomacy and what the White House called “Russia’s buildup of military troops on the border of Ukraine.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will participate in the call, along with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, the United Kingdom, the European Union and NATO, according to Trudeau’s office.

On Friday, the leader of Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine called for his supporters to begin a mass evacuation to Russia, claiming Ukraine was readying for an invasion of the region. Ukraine immediately denied the claim.

The Biden administration has repeatedly warned Moscow will likely manufacture Ukrainian provocations to justify an invasion of its smaller neighbor.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday warned the situation is “escalating,” appearing to place blame on Ukraine.

“All Kyiv needs to do is sit down at the negotiating table with representatives of Donbas and agree on political, military, economic and humanitarian measures to end the conflict,” Putin said Friday during a news conference alongside the leader of Belarus.

But Putin continues to demand assurances from the west that Ukraine will never join NATO, a concession U.S. officials are unwilling to make.

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