President Joe Biden speaks to reporters following a meeting with the Senate Democratic Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 13, 2022. (Tom Brenner/The New York Times). Photograph:( The New York Times )
Biden informed the western leaders that the ‘invasion’ could be preceded by missile strikes and cyberattack
US President Joe Biden reportedly told the Western allies during a phone call that his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, could launch an attack on Ukraine on February 16.
According to Politico, the leaders of the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Canada, Poland, Romania and France, as well as the NATO secretary general and the president of the European Commission took part in the talks.
It is being reported that Biden informed them that the "invasion" could be preceded by missile strikes and cyberattacks.
The media outlet, citing sources, said the call of the leaders indicated that cyberattacks were “imminent”, while another said intelligence reports were “specific and alarming”.
But the UK said it had a “different interpretation” of the alleged February 16 attack.
Politico reported that two European Union diplomats shared even more sceptical views, with one saying they “still refuse to buy it. It would be such a mistake by Putin. War is costly, Ukraine will fight them with everything.”
On Friday, US National security adviser Jake Sullivan mentioned that any attack on Ukraine could begin with “aerial bombing and missile attacks.”, saying that invasion could begin at any time, including “during the [Beijing] Olympics, despite a lot of speculation that it would only happen after the Olympics."
But Politico pointed out that Feb. 16 intelligence is “raw and not the overall assessment of the United States”.
Meanwhile, Reuters has reported that Biden is sending 3,000 troops to Poland to join 1,700 who already are assembling there in a demonstration of American commitment to NATO allies worried at the prospect of Russia invading Ukraine,
Their mission will be to train and provide deterrence but not to engage in combat in Ukraine, Reuters said citing a US defence official.
(With inputs from agencies)