Despite claims by senior Russian officials, President Biden said the US has not yet determined that some Russian military units are withdrawing from the Ukrainian border and returning to their bases..
Despite mixed signals from Moscow, Washington and Europe leaders were cautiously optimistic that war had been averted for now.
“We haven't verified it,” Biden said. “Our analysts indicate they are still in grave danger,” he warned. “An invasion remains distinctly possible,” Biden said of Russia's estimated 150,000-strong presence in Ukraine.
Biden’s remarks were a shift, however, from his administration’s most dire warnings, with national security adviser Jake Sullivan saying last week that a Russian attack could be imminent.
A planned pipeline to bring natural gas to Germany “will not happen” if Russian President Vladimir Putin orders his forces into Ukraine, Biden said.
Biden appeared confident both sides could reach a compromise. “We are ready to pursue high-level diplomacy to reach written understandings among Russia, the US, and European nations,” he told Putin over the weekend.
Biden noted that the Russians stated their willingness to continue talks. “I agree,” he said. “We should give the diplomacy every chance to succeed. And I believe there are real ways to address our respective security concerns.”