President Joe Biden had a two-hour video call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday (December 7) amid rising tensions over a troop build-up near the Ukrainian border.
President Biden told Putin he had "deep concerns" about the build-up and warned there would be "strong" consequences if Russia invades Ukraine.
"He told President Putin directly that if Russia further invades Ukraine, the United States and our European allies would respond with strong economic measures," said National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. "We would provide additional defensive material to the Ukrainians above and beyond that which we are already providing, and we would fortify our NATO allies on the eastern flank with additional capabilities in response to such an escalation."
Sullivan did not provide specific details about what actions the U.S. and other countries could take.
"President Biden looked President Putin in the eye and told him today that things we did not do in 2014 we are prepared to do now," said Sullivan. "Now in terms of the specifics, we would prefer to communicate that directly to the Russians, to not negotiate in public, not telegraph our punches, but we are laying out to the Russians in some detail the types of measures that we have in mind."
The two leaders also discussed a host of other issues, including ransomware attacks, Iran, and nuclear security.