WASHINGTON, February 21. /TASS/. US President Joe Biden is ready to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, if an invasion of Ukraine hasn’t happened, according to a statement by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, released on Sunday.
"As the President has repeatedly made clear, we are committed to pursuing diplomacy until the moment an invasion begins. Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Lavrov are scheduled to meet later this week in Europe, provided Russia does not proceed with military action. President Biden accepted in principle a meeting with President Putin following that engagement, again, if an invasion hasn’t happened. We are always ready for diplomacy," she said.
"We are also ready to impose swift and severe consequences should Russia instead choose war. And currently, Russia appears to be continuing preparations for a full-scale assault on Ukraine very soon," she added.
Western countries and the Kiev regime have been spreading allegations lately about Russia’s potential invasion of Ukraine. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov castigated these speculations as an "empty and groundless" escalation of tension. He did not rule out the probability of provocations to justify such allegations and warned that attempts to resolve the crisis in southeastern Ukraine through military means would have serious consequences.