Biden, Putin to speak Thursday regarding rising tensions over Ukraine

The administration stated earlier this month that it was weighing sweeping sanctions against Russia if it invades Ukraine.WASHINGTON-- President Joe Biden will hold a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, a National Security Council spokesperson said in a statement.

Russia has actually massed 100,000 soldiers along the Ukrainian border, triggering fears of an invasion as early as next month, but it has consistently denied that it has any strategies to attack its neighbor.Biden warned Putin in a virtual call this month that Russia would deal with "extreme effects" if it assaulted Ukraine.

Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014, drawing condemnation and sanctions from the West. Soon later, Moscow backed a separatist rebellion in the country's east, where fighting has actually killed over 14,000 people and ravaged Ukraine's industrial heartland.

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