Joe Biden warns Vladimir Putin they will face ‘strong economic and other measures’ if Russia decides to invade Ukraine

President Joe Biden warned Vladimir Putin the US and European allies will join together to impose “strong economic measures” should Russia decide to invade Ukraine, in a tense two-hour phone call on Tuesday.

US President Joe Biden has warned Russian President Vladimir Putin the US and European allies will respond with “strong economic and other measures” if the Kremlin decides to invade Ukraine.

Mr Biden voiced “deep concerns” over the rallying of Russian troops near Ukraine in a tense two-hour phone call with Mr Putin on Tuesday.

“Greetings, Mr President,” Mr Putin said in a brief video clip released by the Kremlin.

Mr Biden responded by saying it was “good to see” his Russian counterpart in the beginning of what was expected to be a tense exchange.

In the highly anticipated video call, Mr Biden voiced “deep concerns of the United States and our European Allies about Russia’s escalation of forces surrounding Ukraine”, according to a statement issued by the White House.

Mr Biden “made clear that the US and our Allies would respond with strong economic and other measures in the event of military escalation”.

Russia has moved thousands of troops near Ukraine’s eastern borders, with US intelligence findings estimating more than 100,000 troops are within striking distance of the Eastern European country.

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National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Mr Biden was “direct and straightforward with President Putin, as he always is”, in a press briefing on Tuesday.

“There was no finger wagging, but the president was crystal clear about where the United States stands on all of these issues,” he said.

Along with warning “strong economic measures” in the event of military escalation, Mr Biden added the US is prepared to bolster defence capabilities against Russia.

“He reiterated America’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. He told President Putin directly that if Russia further invades Ukraine, the United States and our European allies would respond with strong economic measures,” Mr Sullivan said.

“We would provide additional defensive material to the Ukrainians above and beyond that which we are already providing, and we would fortify our NATO allies on the eastern flank with additional capabilities in response to such an escalation.”

The US President debriefed his meeting with Mr Putin in a call with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson later on Tuesday.

Mr Biden will also speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday, Mr Sullivan confirmed.

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