Biden Will Stress Diplomacy in Address on Russia-Ukraine Tension

President Joe Biden, in an upcoming status update to the nation about the Russia-Ukraine situation, will stress that the United States “remains open to high-level diplomacy,” according to the White House. 

“[He] will reiterate that the United States remains open to high-level diplomacy in close coordination with our Allies, building on the multiple diplomatic off-ramps we and our Allies and partners have offered Russia in recent months,” reports ABC News, quoting the White House about Biden’s remarks, which are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET. 

Biden’s remarks were announced at about noon, with the status update was added to Biden’s schedule as questions grow about whether Russia has been pulling troops back from Ukraine’s border, as the Kremlin claims. 

“The United States continues to believe diplomacy and de-escalation are the best path forward but is prepared for every scenario,” the White House also said in its statement. 

According to estimates, Russia has placed about 130,000 troops and heavy military equipment along its border with Ukraine.  

Biden’s remarks come after the White House’s warnings that Russia could invade Ukraine this week, and while foreign policy analysts have urged him to address the nation more fully about the growing tension between the two countries, reports NBC News.  

“He needs to get on television, he needs to go to the United Nations, he needs to speak to the American people and tell them what’s at stake,” Evelyn Farkas, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia during the Obama administration, told MSNBC earlier. “If we go backwards in time, it will be a place where countries are competing economically, politically, where we are all trying to have our way with smaller countries, and the risk of war increases.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking along with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the Kremlin, said Russia will keep pushing with its demands to roll back NATO’s presence in Eastern Europe and for a guarantee that Ukraine will never become a member of the multi-national alliance, reports The New York Times.

“We are also ready to continue on the negotiating track, but all these questions, as has been said before, must be viewed comprehensively,” Putin said.

While Putin’s remarks indicated that he’s willing to seek a diplomatic solution, he responded, “according to the plan” when asked how Moscow will act moving forward, but added that the outcome will “not only depend on us.”

“We intend to and will strive to reach agreement with our partners on the questions that we posed, in order to solve them by taking a diplomatic path,” Putin said. 

However, earlier on Tuesday, lawmakers in the Russian Kremlin-backed lower house of Parliament asked Putin to recognize eastern Ukraine’s breakaway states as being independent, which raised some fears that Russia could use the ruling to move more troops and equipment into those areas, reports The Times.

Putin, during the news conference, indicated he would not immediately act on the request. 

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