By Lalit K Jha :
THE US is ready to respond “decisively” to a Russian attack on Ukraine which is still very much a possibility, President Joe Biden has said, urging Moscow to step back from the brink of war. Providing an update on the crisis involving Russia and Ukraine on Tuesday, Biden said, the United States was prepared no matter what happens. “We are ready with diplomacy — to be engaged in diplomacy with Russia and our Allies and partners to improve stability and security in Europe as a whole. And we are ready to respond decisively to a Russian attack on Ukraine, which is still very much a possibility,” he said. “An invasion remains distinctly possible. That’s why I’ve asked several times that all Americans in Ukraine leave now before it’s too late to leave safely.
It is why we have temporarily relocated our embassy from Kyiv to Lviv in western Ukraine, approaching the Polish border,” Biden said as his Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin left for a trip to the region amidst an escalating crisis in Europe. Biden said, the US is still open for diplomacy to resolve the issue while stressing that more than 1,50,000 Russian troops remain on the Ukrainian border. “The Russian Defence Ministry reported today that some military units are leaving their positions near Ukraine. That would be good, but we have not yet verified that. We have not yet verified that Russian military units are returning to their home bases.
Our analysts indicate that they remain very much in a threatening position,” he said. Biden said if Russia attacks Ukraine in the days or weeks ahead, the human cost for Ukraine and the strategic cost for Russia will be immense. “If Russia attacks Ukraine, it’ll be met with overwhelming international condemnation. The world will not forget that Russia chose needless death and destruction,” he said.