US Says Russian Invasion Imminent, Ukraine Says Not Imminent
Kyiv - While the United States maintains that an invasion on Ukraine by Russia is imminent, Ukraine leaders say "Stay calm, a Russian invasion is not imminent" but says that the threat is real.
The White House stated that an invasion is 'imminent' and placed American troops on high alert to deploy to Europe. Sanctions by the United States and Europe have also been readied in the event that an invasion does take place.
Although the White House has stated that an invasion is 'imminent', Biden himself stated "This is all Putin. I don't even think his people know for certain what he will do" just before stopping for ice cream.
Biden said that he may be moving the troops to Eastern Europe in the near term as a demonstration to NATO allies that the U.S. is committed.
Biden likened reading Putin's intentions with tea leaf reading saying ""I'll be completely honest with you, it is a little bit like reading tea leaves".
"Ordinarily, if it were a different leader, the fact that he continues to build forces along Ukraine's border, from Belarus all the way around, you'd say, 'Well, that means that he is looking like he is going to do something,'" Biden continued.
"But then you look at what his past behavior is and what everyone is saying and his team as well as everyone else as to what is likely to happen, it all comes down to his decision" he stated.
Press secretary Jen Psaki stated during a briefing, "When we said it was imminent, it remains imminent. But again, we can't make a prediction of what decision President Putin will make. We're still engaged in diplomatic discussions and negotiations".
Ukrainian officials however have expressed that they do not believe that Russian forces are prepared for an invasion on Ukraine quite yet and has continually downplayed invasion fears.
Psaki stated "No one can get into the mind of President Putin or Russian leadership. We all know that is the case. What we have seen is a range of preparations."
The Ukrainian government were also not happy with the decision by the United States to evacuate some embassy staff in Ukraine.
Psaki dismissed Ukraine's frustration saying "We're always going to make decisions that are in the security interests of people who are serving as diplomats around the world, and we have assessments that are made by the State Department, hence the decision in the announcement made over the last couple of days".
"I will let others assess, but there are 100,000 Russian troops on the border of Ukraine and no clarity that the leader of Russia doesn't intend to invade," she said. "That sounds pretty dangerous to me" she added.
One question that could be asked however: Why is Ukraine so desperate to obtain weapons and military equipment as well as so upset that Germany has refused to ship any to the country if they are not worried about an imminent invasion?