Biden offers support to Ukraine in call with Zelensky on Russia

President Joe Biden holds a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss Russia's military build-up on Ukraine's borders in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington D.C., on Thursday. Pool Photo by Doug Mills/UPI

Dec. 10 (UPI) — U.S. President Joe Biden offered his support to Kiev on Thursday during a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky amid worries of Russian aggression toward the Eastern European nation, the White House said.

A readout of the call from the White House said Biden expressed “deep concerns” about Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine and promised economic and “other measures” against Russia in case of further escalation.

“He reaffirmed the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the readout said.

Their conversation came two days after Biden spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin, during which he voiced the same support for Ukraine’s sovereignty.

“He told President Putin directly that if Russia further invades Ukraine, the United States and our European allies would respond with strong economic measures,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan said during a press briefing.

Biden told Zelensky he wouldn’t make any decisions about Ukraine without the country’s input, and said diplomacy was the best strategy with Russia.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki addressed the phone call during Thursday’s press briefing. When asked whether Biden supports Ukraine’s desire to join NATO, she said he supports “the aspiration of Ukraine.”

“There are certain requirements that they would need to meet on a range of issues, including corruption and other topics,” Psaki said. “And it’s obviously up to NATO partner countries and NATO, the Alliance, to determine what the path forward looks like.”

Putin said during his call with Biden that he considers Ukraine’s entrance into NATO as a threat to Russia’s national security. He said that would guarantee a military response from the communist country.


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