Biden invites Putin for meeting to 'discuss full range of issues'

State Antony Blinken removes his mask as gives a press briefing at the end of a NATO Foreign

State Antony Blinken removes his mask as gives a press briefing at the end of a NATO Foreign

"We're now seeing the largest concentration of Russian forces on Ukraine's border since 2014, and that is of deep concern not only to Ukraine, but to the United States, and indeed to many of our allies and partners", Mr Blinken said as he met with Mr Kuleba in the Belgian capital.

Two U.S. warships are due to arrive in the Black Sea this week.

Taking steps to counteract Moscow's aggression "may look costly, but the price of prevention will still be lower than the price of stopping the war and mitigating its consequences", Dmytro Kuleba said during a press conference in Brussels with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

Stoltenberg stressed that the alliance - not Moscow - will choose whether Ukraine joins NATO: "It is for the 30 NATO allies to decide when Ukraine is ready for NATO membership, and no one else has any right to try to meddle or to interfere in that process".

"One thing I know for sure is that there is no reason for American warships to be near our shores", Sergei Ryabkov, a deputy foreign minister, said, calling the planned trip "purely provocative".

"We warn the United States that it will be better for them to stay far away from Crimea and our Black Sea coast". "Russia must end this military buildup in and around Ukraine, stop its provocations and deescalate immediately".

Russian Federation has said it moves its forces around as it sees fit, including for defensive purposes.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called on Russian Federation to withdraw troops from Ukraine's borders on Tuesday.

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He said: "It's better to act now to prevent Russian Federation from further escalating the situation", adding that Ukraine doesn't want war.

"In total, 40,000 troops and 15,000 weapons and pieces of military equipment are concentrated near our territory, including strategic aircraft", Shoigu said.

Kuleba said Kyiv wanted a diplomatic solution.

He said that his meeting with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was to prevent the mistakes of 2014, when Russian Federation swiftly exploited Western indecision to make gains in eastern Ukraine and annex Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. We support Ukraine's posture of restraint.

Stoltenberg's comments came ahead of an emergency meeting of allied foreign and defense ministers over the conflict in the eastern Ukraine region.

Austin, on a visit to Berlin, said the United States would ramp up its forces in Germany in light of the friction with Moscow, abandoning former President Donald Trump's plans to withdraw about round 12,000 of the 36,000 troops from there.

Recalling our last statement of 18 March, we reaffirm our unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.

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