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Biden talks to European leaders as latest talks with Ukraine collapse

He warned that “things could get crazy fast” if Russia invaded Ukraine.

President Joe Biden held a call with transatlantic leaders on Friday to plan next steps as Russian military buildup talks near Ukraine showed no signs of defusing the crisis.

Biden spoke of “coordinating both diplomacy and deterrence” with the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, the United Kingdom, NATO, the European Commission and the European Council, according to the White House.

The president has remained largely silent on Ukraine over the past few days, instead holding public events focused on the US economy.

The transatlantic call came as NATO warned Europe was facing a “dangerous moment”.

“This is a dangerous moment for European security,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday in Brussels.

European leaders have engaged in intense diplomacy with Russia and Ukraine in recent weeks to avert war in Eastern Europe. But the talks have so far failed to yield any apparent progress.

French President Emmanuel Macron traveled to Moscow to meet his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, before meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, the following day.

Russia and Ukraine held talks in Berlin on Thursday, moderated by Germany and France, but after nine hours of talks they failed to even agree on issuing a joint statement.

Western officials had hoped the latest round of so-called “Normandy Format Talks” would advance the diplomacy of Macron and other officials who have shuttled between capitals over the past two weeks.

The parties remained deadlocked, however, over Russia’s insistence that the Ukrainian government speak directly with Russian-backed separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine.

Biden said Monday that Americans currently in Ukraine should leave, and on Thursday he repeated that message with more urgency.

“American citizens should leave now,” Biden said Thursday in an interview with NBC News. “It’s not like we’re dealing with a terrorist organization. We are dealing with one of the largest armies in the world. It’s a very different situation and things could get crazy fast.

Senior US officials say they don’t believe Russian President Vladimir Putin has made up his mind whether to invade Ukraine, even though he has amassed more than 100,000 troops on the Russia-Israel border. Ukraine.

The United States and other Western countries have warned of serious economic consequences for Russia if it invades. Russia denies any intention to do so.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Russia and Belarus kicked off 10 days of joint exercises in Belarus, northern Ukraine.

“As we have said before, we are in a window where an invasion could begin at any time,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday in Melbourne, Australia. “To be clear, that includes during the Olympics.”

The Winter Olympics, which are taking place in Beijing, are due to end on February 20.

ABC News’ Patrick Reevell contributed to this report.

ABC News

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