In what appeared to be a last-ditch diplomatic gambit brokered by French President Emmanuel Macron, the White House said US President Joe Biden has agreed “in principle” to a meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin as long as he holds off on launching an assault that US officials warn appears increasingly more likely.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration has been clear that “we are committed to pursuing diplomacy until the moment an invasion begins.” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are set to meet on Thursday in Europe as long as a further invasion doesn’t occur.
“We are always ready for diplomacy. We are also ready to impose swift and severe consequences should Russia instead choose war,” Psaki said in statement. “And currently, Russia appears to be continuing preparations for a full-scale assault on Ukraine very soon.”