Vice President Joe Biden will call Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Tuesday to discuss ongoing tensions along the Ukraine-Russia border as Russian forces gather near Ukraine’s eastern border in what the White House described as an attempt to “intimidate Ukraine.”
For Ukraine, which is fighting a battle against Russian-backed separatists in a region near the Russian border, the troop buildup is a particularly problematic development.
Russian troops have massed along the border and moved heavy weapons near Ukraine, with the military “disregarding a ceasefire agreement,” according to Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. A spokesperson for the council called the buildup of Russian troops “the final act of a cynical and illegal attempt to intimidate Ukraine and put Ukraine in a situation of ‘no choice.’”
Late last month, top White House officials were quick to condemn Russia for the military buildup. According to Kerry, Vice President Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry both spoke with their Russian counterparts.
The “Putin regime’s continuous militarization of the eastern part of Ukraine and territorial expansion could not be more alarming or irresponsible,” Mr. Kerry said in a statement on Aug. 28.
As the vice president is traveling in Indonesia, the White House confirmed that Mr. Biden would speak with Mr. Poroshenko about the issue.