Live: Biden warns that Putin invades Ukraine would entail “heavy costs”

Live: Biden warns that Putin invades Ukraine would entail "heavy costs"

Efforts to calm the crisis in Ukraine via telephone diplomacy failed to ease tensions on Saturday, with US President Joe Biden warning that Russia faces “rapid and heavy costs” if its troops carry out an invasion. Follow our live updates below.

  • 07.45 Paris time

US OSCE personnel begin to withdraw from Donetsk

US Security and Cooperation Organization (OSCE) staff began retreating by car from the rebel-held city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on Sunday, a Reuters witness said.

  • 07.30 Paris time

Russia says warships are chasing American submarines, Washington denies it

A Russian anti-submarine destroyer was chased by a US submarine near the Kuril Islands, forcing it to leave the country’s territorial waters, Moscow said on Saturday, amid rising tensions around Ukraine. The US military denied the account.

Russia’s defense minister said that during planned military exercises, Marshal Shaposhnikov’s fighter had spotted a US Navy Virginia submarine in Russian territorial waters near the Kuril Islands in the North Pacific.

When the submarine ignored the demands on the surface, “the crew of the frigate used appropriate means” and the American submarine left at full speed, the ministry said, without giving further details.

The ministry said it had called the U.S. Defense Attaché in Moscow because of the incident.

“In connection with the US Navy submarine’s violation of the Russian Federation’s state border, the Defense Attaché at the US Embassy in Moscow was called to the Russian Ministry of Defense,” the Defense Ministry said.

However, the statement from the US military said: “There is no truth in the Russian claims about our operations in their territorial waters.”

  • 07.00 Paris time

Biden warns that Putin invades Ukraine would entail “heavy costs”

“If Russia makes a further invasion of Ukraine, the United States, together with our allies and partners, will react decisively and impose rapid and heavy costs on Russia,” Biden told Putin, according to the White House.

While the United States was prepared to engage in diplomacy, “we are equally prepared for other scenarios,” Biden said, as the two nations stare down at one of the most serious crises in East-West relations since the Cold War.

The Biden-Putin talks were “professional and material”, lasting just over an hour, but they gave “no fundamental change” in the dynamics, a senior US official told reporters.

  • 07.00 Paris time

Blinken says that Ukraine’s embassy mission is cautious

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Saturday that the risk of Russian military action in Ukraine is high and imminent enough to justify the departure of a large part of the staff at the US embassy in Kiev, as announced by the State Department earlier.

“We ordered the departure of most of the Americans still at the US Embassy in Kiev. The risk of Russian military action is high enough and the threat is imminent that this is the wise thing to do,” Blinken told a news conference. in Honolulu.

Most embassy staff were ordered to leave Ukraine immediately due to the threat of an invasion of Russia, and the department said it seemed increasingly likely that the situation was heading for “some form of active conflict”.

This contributed to the State Department’s call earlier this week for US citizens to leave Ukraine immediately.

  • 07.00 Paris time

Australia evacuates the last staff of the Ukrainian embassy

Australia has ordered all remaining embassy staff in Kiev to evacuate, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday as Russia continued to build troops at its border with Ukraine.

The evacuation follows similar announcements from the United States and Canada, and comes after a frenzy of telephone diplomacy failed to alleviate rising regional tensions on Saturday.

Morrison said Australia would move its operations to Lviv, a city near Ukraine’s border with Poland located about 540 kilometers (336 miles) east of Kiev.

He said the three remaining staff in Kiev had supported “the many Australians [in Ukraine]many of whom are dual citizens “.

“The situation, as you all hear, is getting worse and approaching a very dangerous stage,” he said.

While condemning “Russia’s autocratic, one-sided actions”, the prime minister also turned to regional politics, criticizing China for “remaining coldly silent about Russian troops gathering at the Ukrainian border.”

Originally published on France24

Live: Biden warns that Putin invades Ukraine would entail "heavy costs"


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