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Biden 'convinced' Putin made decision to invade Ukraine


Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to attack Ukraine, US President Joe Biden said Friday.

"As of this moment, I'm convinced he's made the decision. We have reason to believe that," Biden said in response to a question at a news conference at the White House.

“We have reason to believe the Russian forces are planning and intend to attack Ukraine in the coming week, in the coming days,” he said. "We believe that they will target Ukraine's capital Kyiv.”

Biden said if Moscow attacks Ukraine, it will "be responsible for a catastrophic and needless war of choice," adding that the US and its allies are prepared to respond.

"The bottom line is this. The United States and our allies and partners will support the Ukrainian people. We will hold Russia accountable for its actions. The West is united and resolved.

"We're ready to impose severe sanctions on Russia if it further invades Ukraine," he added.

According to Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken could meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Feb. 24. He said if Moscow attacks Ukraine before that time, it will close the door to diplomacy.

"They will have chosen war and they will pay the price for doing so. Not only from the sanctions that we and our allies will impose on Russia but the moral outrage of the rest of the world will visit upon them," said Biden.

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