National Security Adviser Sullivan: Putin Hasn't Decided on Invading Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Mikhail Metzel/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)
By Solange Reyner | Friday, 17 December 2021 07:27 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin has not yet ''made a decision'' on whether he will invade Ukraine, but is giving ''serious consideration'' to doing so, according to the latest U.S. intelligence assessment, national security adviser Jake Sullivan told an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations, The Hill reports.
''I have high confidence in our capacity to see what has been a significant Russian military buildup in the vicinity of Ukraine and in Ukraine itself, in Crimea and other places,'' Sullivan said.
''I also think that the analysis that the intelligence community has laid out to indicate that the Russian government is giving serious consideration and operational planning to such an exercise is well validated,'' he continued.
''It's something that we've shared with allies and partners, and it has motivated them to join us in a very strong chorus of clear messaging around the massive consequences … that would befall Russia should it choose to further invade Ukraine.''
Russia has continued to amass troops near Ukraine's border in recent days despite President Joe Biden urging Putin to ''build back better'' in his own country rather than threaten Ukraine.
''The Russian people don't need a war with Ukraine. They don't need their sons coming home in body bags. They don't need another foreign adventure,'' a senior Biden administration official told reporters Friday on a State Department-organized briefing call, according to the New York Post.
''What they need is better healthcare, build back better, roads, schools, economic opportunity. And that's what the polling is showing in Russia. So we hope that President Putin will take this opportunity for diplomacy and will also listen to the needs of his own people.''