Kremlin denounces Biden s Ukraine remarks
January 20, 2022 08:35 PM
The Kremlin on Thursday denounced US President Joe Biden for saying a "disaster" awaited Russia if it attacked Ukraine, stressing that it destabilised an already tense situation.
During a news conference marking his first year in office on Wednesday, Biden warned Russia it would pay a heavy price for a full-blown invasion of Ukraine, but sowed confusion by suggesting a "minor" incursion would prompt much less pushback.
Statements like that, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, "can facilitate the destabilisation of the situation because they can inspire some hotheads in Ukraine with false hopes."
At the same time Peskov did not rule out new security talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Biden.
With tens of thousands of Russian troops massed on the Ukrainian border, fears are mounting that a major conflict could break out in Europe.
Moscow insists it has no plans to invade Ukraine but has at the same time laid down a series of security demands -- including a ban on Ukraine joining NATO -- in exchange for de-escalation.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for a new round of security talks in Geneva on Friday.
Blinken said Wednesday he would not formally respond with written answers to Russia's demands, hoping instead to explore areas of cooperation.
Peskov said Thursday that Russia still expected to receive a "written" response "in the coming days."