Russia-Ukraine Crisis News: Live Updates

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U.S. and Germany Promise a ‘United’ Response to Russia

After a meeting with Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, President Biden said the U.S. would “bring an end” to Nord Stream 2, a Russia-to-Germany pipeline, if Moscow invades Ukraine.

“Top of our agenda today was our united approach to deterring Russia’s threats against Ukraine. If Russia invades, that means tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine, again, then there will be, we — there will be no longer Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.” Reporter: “But how will you — how will you do that exactly? Since the project and control of the project is within Germany’s control?” “We will, I promise you we’ll be able to do it.” “I want to be absolutely clear. We have intensively prepared everything to be ready with the necessary sanctions if there is a military aggression against Ukraine. It is part of this process that we do not spell out everything in public because Russia could understand that there might be even more to come. To our American friends, we will be united. We will act together and we will take all the necessary steps, and all the necessary steps will be done by all of us together.”

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After a meeting with Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, President Biden said the U.S. would “bring an end” to Nord Stream 2, a Russia-to-Germany pipeline, if Moscow invades Ukraine.CreditCredit…Cheriss May for The New York Times

After meeting with the leader of Germany, President Biden said on Monday that a lucrative gas pipeline project connecting Russia and Germany would not go forward if Moscow invades Ukraine.

Mr. Biden vowed that Germany and the United States would take a “united” approach to rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine, despite concerns that Germany has not been a forceful enough partner in confronting Russia.

“If Russia makes a choice to further invade Ukraine, we are jointly ready,” Mr. Biden said, standing beside Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the White House, “and all of NATO is ready.”

Their meeting, the first since Mr. Scholz took office in December, was intended to publicly shore up a key link in the Western alliance as it confronts the Russian military buildup surrounding Ukraine, one of its gravest challenges since the Cold War. Among the main concerns ahead of the meeting, Mr. Biden’s advisers said, was Mr. Scholz’s reluctance to sign onto punishing economic sanctions in the event of an invasion, or to call off the gas pipeline project, Nord Stream 2.





Border with Russian units

Transnistria, a

Russian-backed

breakaway region

of Moldova.

Russia invaded and

annexed the Crimean

Peninsula from

Ukraine in 2014.

Approximate line

separating Ukrainian and

Russian-backed forces near

two breakaway provinces.

Border with

Russian units

Russia annexed

the Crimean

Peninsula from

Ukraine in 2014.

Transnistria, a

Russian-backed

breakaway region

of Moldova.

Approximate line

separating Ukrainian

and Russian-backed

forces.


Nord Stream 2, an $11 billion natural gas conduit being built between Germany and Russia, has been assailed by Mr. Biden and his advisers as a coercive tool against Ukraine and other allies, even though the president agreed last year to waive sanctions related to the project.

The pipeline is on hold as European Commission officials investigate whether the project is in compliance with European energy policy.

On Monday, Mr. Biden, who has refrained from publicly criticizing Mr. Scholz, said that the Germans supported a “strong package” of sanctions but did not detail what those would be. In recent weeks, Mr. Biden has threatened severe economic sanctions against Russia’s financial sector and members of President Vladimir V. Putin’s inner circle.

Mr. Biden defined invasion in the most traditional terms possible — troops and tanks — not addressing a number of other ways his aides fear Mr. Putin could bring the country to its knees, including organizing a coup or conducting crippling cyberattacks.

“If Russia invades, that means tanks and troops crossing the border of Ukraine again, then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2,” Mr. Biden said. “We will bring an end to it.”

When asked exactly how, Mr. Biden said, “I promise you we’ll be able to do it.”

Mr. Scholz, asked the same question, did not answer as forcefully. He has been vague about whether he would agree to terminate the pipeline project and reluctant to outline consequences for Russia if it invades Ukraine, but on Monday he repeated what he has said frequently: “We are absolutely united.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Scholz and Mr. Macron were scheduled to meet for talks on Ukraine in Berlin, where they were to be joined by the president of Poland, Andrzej Duda. And next week, Mr. Scholz is scheduled to follow Mr. Macron by visiting both Moscow and Kyiv.

In addition to the pipeline, another matter that may come up is the German government’s decision not to sell Ukraine weaponry or ammunition. Germany has explained that policy by citing a longstanding policy of not contributing to continuing conflicts. But Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, told reporters on Monday that he intended to raise the issue with Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock.

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