Washington: US President Joe Biden on Sunday (local time) told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that the United States and its allies will "respond decisively" if Russia invades Ukraine, according to White House.
During a call with Ukraine leader, President Biden expressed support for diplomatic efforts, starting next week with the bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue.
"President Biden made clear that the United States and its allies and partners will respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine. The leaders expressed support for diplomatic efforts, starting next week with the bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue, at NATO through the NATO-Russia Council, and at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Sunday (local time).
The call comes days before Russian and US officials are set to meet in person in Geneva on January 10 amid a Russian military buildup on the Ukraine border and ongoing tensions. Zelenskyy spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken ahead of the call earlier this week.
White House Press Secretary in the statement added that Biden underscored Washington's commitment to the principle of "nothing about you without you."
Biden also "reaffirmed the United States' commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. He also expressed support for confidence-building measures to de-escalate tensions in Donbas and active diplomacy to advance the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, in support of the Normandy Format," Psaki said.
On Thursday (local time), Biden held a telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, discussing the escalating tensions over Ukraine and European security.
The call between Biden and Putin comes at a time when the US continues to pressure Russia to draw down its large military presence near Ukraine's borders. US intelligence officials have warned Ukraine and its allies that Russia could be planning to launch an attack as soon as January.
The US and NATO have voiced concerns over Russia's alleged preparations for invading Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly denied the accusations, saying that Russia has the right to relocate the troops within its territory at its own discretion, while NATO's military activity near Russian borders poses a threat to its security.