President Joe Biden said Thursday that he believes Russia will invade Ukraine in a matter of days.
The president stopped briefly to speak with reporters ahead of his scheduled trip to Ohio, where he will speak on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Pressed about ongoing Ukraine-Russia tensions, Biden noted that a diplomatic solution is still possible but also called the threat of invasion “very high.”
“Yes, I do,” Biden said when asked whether he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin will go through with invading Ukraine. “Not — my sense is this will happen in the next several days.”
The president said “there’s [still] a clear diplomatic path” and noted he asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken to address the United Nations Security Council on Thursday ahead of his trip to the Munich Security Conference. Earlier Thursday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that she also asked Blinken to attend.
“There is a path. There is a way through this,” Biden reiterated, saying he laid out a path for Putin over the weekend when the two leaders spoke via phone call.
Biden explained why he believes that, despite having a diplomatic path forward, the threat of invasion remains high. He highlighted the administration’s warnings of a false flag operation, telling reporters that this could be used by Russia as “an excuse” to invade. (RELATED: Biden Approves More Troops For Deployment Amid Russia-Ukraine Tensions)
“They have not moved any of their troops out,” Biden said of Russia. “They’ve moved more troops in, number one. Number two, we have reason to believe that they are engaged in a false flag operation to have an excuse to go in. Every indication we have is that they’re prepared to go into Ukraine, attack Ukraine.”