The US has warned of an “immediate” threat that Russia will invade Ukraine after President Joe Biden summoned transatlantic leaders to a meeting to discuss the crisis and embassies stepped up warnings for their citizens to leave the country.
“The risk is now high enough and the threat is now immediate enough,” said Jake Sullivan, White House national security adviser, as he urged Americans to leave Ukraine within the next 24 to 48 hours. There was a “credible prospect” of Russia launching an attack before the end of the Winter Olympics in Beijing on February 20, he added.
In Washington, foreign policy experts said that while it was unclear whether the White House’s warnings would be heeded by Putin and trigger second thoughts in the Kremlin, they would at least help signal that the west may soon have to shift away from deterring a possible Russian invasion to responding to one.
“The point for the White House to do this is to further reinforce the urgency . . . so that we are prepared to react when [an invasion] happens, if it happens,” said Andrea Kendall-Taylor, director of the transatlantic security programme at the Center for a New American Security. “I think it’s first and foremost about getting the allies on board and getting people ready to implement a response,” she said.
Read the full story and more from The Financial Times.