United States President Joe Biden convened a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) to discuss the escalating crisis in Ukraine amid heightened fears that Russia had decided to invade.
The White House posted a photo on Twitter showing State Secretary Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns, and others were in attendance in the Feb. 20 meeting.
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris attended the meeting remotely from her plane as she returned from the annual Munich Security Conference held over the weekend.
In announcing the meeting, the White House said on Feb. 19 that Biden and his national security team “reaffirmed that Russia could launch an attack against Ukraine at any time.”
Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” earlier on Feb. 20, Blinken said, “Everything we’re seeing suggests that this is dead serious, that we are on the brink of an invasion. We will do everything we can to try to prevent it before it happens.”
After the NSC meeting, Biden had a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss “efforts in response to Russia’s military buildup on the borders of Ukraine.”
Macron had earlier spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin as a last-minute diplomatic bid to try to dissuade Russia from invading Ukraine.
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