US President Joe Biden met German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday and warned that the vital gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 would be blocked if Russia attacked Ukraine. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said only the US and its allies were talking about attacks.
Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron met in Moscow for more than five hours. Meanwhile, Biden and Scholz held talks at the White House as part of efforts to deal with Ukraine’s crisis. Russia has deployed thousands of military forces along the Ukrainian border and is increasing its military strength almost daily.
“If Russia attacks, that is, if tanks and forces cross the border with Ukraine again, there will be no Nord Stream 2 (between Russia and Germany),” Biden said. We will stop it.’ This will not only cause economic loss to Russia but will also increase the difficulties of Germany. The construction of the pipeline has been completed, but it is yet to be commissioned. “We are all ready, the whole NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is ready,” Biden said.
Biden strongly reiterated that the pipeline would be disrupted, while Scholz stressed the need to have some ambiguity about sanctions in order to pressure Russia to mitigate the crisis. “It is important for Russia to understand that it could be worse than what it imagined,” Scholz said.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biedson said it would be prudent for other Americans to leave Ukraine except for essential diplomats amid Russia’s military threat. Biden made the remarks at a joint news conference with Scholz at the White House. The US State Department has allowed its non-essential personnel working in Ukraine to return from there and appealed to all family members of diplomats to return from there as well.
The deployment of nearly 100,000 Russian forces near Ukraine has raised concerns from Western countries, who see it as the start of a possible offensive. While Russia has denied any plans to attack its neighbor, it is pressing the US and its allies to prevent Ukraine or any other ex-Soviet country from joining NATO. Russia has also called for a halt to the deployment of weapons in the region and the withdrawal of NATO forces from Eastern Europe. The US and NATO have rejected Russia’s demands.