US President Joe Biden said that in the event of an escalation around Ukraine, Western countries are ready to impose sanctions against Russia, which, however, can still opt for de-escalation. He stated this during his address on the Ukrainian crisis, a video of which was published on the Global News YouTube channel.
“The West is united and full of determination. We are ready to impose severe sanctions against Russia if it invades Ukraine again. But, I'll say it again, Russia can still choose diplomacy. It is not too late to de-escalate and return to the negotiating table,” Biden said.
Biden has previously said he does not believe his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin is "even remotely" considering the use of nuclear weapons.
On February 18, the heads of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics announced the evacuation, explaining such a measure by the threat of an imminent attack by the Ukrainian military. According to the head of the DPR, Denis Pushilin, the Donetsk military daily records the increase in the number of lethal weapons by the Ukrainian army, including the Smerch and Uragan multiple launch rocket systems, as well as the American Javelin and Stinger man-portable missile systems.