President Joe Biden said Tuesday that the US has not yet verified that Russian troops are leaving positions near Ukraine.
Biden reiterated that Washington is ready to engage in diplomacy with Russia during a White House news conference to provide an update on the crisis involving Russia and Ukraine.
“And we are ready to respond decisively to a Russian attack on Ukraine, which is still very much a possibility,” said the US president.
He said the Russian defense minister reported earlier Tuesday that some military units are leaving their positions near Ukraine.
“That would be good. And we have not yet verified that. We have not yet verified the Russian military units are returning to their home bases. Indeed, our analysts indicate that they remain very much in a threatening position,” said Biden.
Moscow, according to Ukrainian officials and NATO, has recently amassed more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine, prompting fears that the Kremlin could be planning a military offensive against its ex-Soviet neighbor.
Russia has denied it is preparing to invade and accused Western countries of undermining its security through NATO’s expansion toward its borders.
Russia also issued a list of security demands to the West, including a rollback of troop deployments from some ex-Soviet states, and guarantees that some of those states would not join NATO.
In a written response to the demands, Washington said it is committed to upholding NATO’s “open door policy,” while NATO also conveyed the alliance’s reply “in parallel with the United States.”
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