The White House is continuing to signal urgency as it relates to a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
During a press briefing Friday, national security adviser Jake Sullivan reiterated to reporters that Russia could invade Ukraine any day and added that an invasion could occur before the completion of the Beijing Olympics, which are set to end Feb. 20.
“If you look at the disposition of forces, both in Belarus and in Russia on the other side of the Ukrainian border from the north and from the east, the Russians are in a position to be able to mount a major military action into Ukraine any day now,” said Sullivan.
Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops and artillery along its border with Ukraine over the past few months.
Sullivan continues to urge all Americans currently in Ukraine to leave the country.
“Any American who is in Ukraine right now who needs help, who needs financial help, or needs logistical help to take advantage of a commercial option to get out, please call the U.S. embassy in Kyiv, because we stand ready to provide that help,” he said.
Sullivan also spoke to a recent joint statement put out by Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping. The statement joins China in Russia’s opposition to the “further enlargement of NATO” and calls on NATO to “abandon its ideologized cold war approaches.” It also expresses Russian opposition to an independent Taiwan.
“China also has its own decisions to make,” said Sullivan. “And to the extent that they are giving a wink and a nod or a green light to a Russian invasion of Ukraine for no justified reason, I believe that China will ultimately come to suffer consequences as a result of that in the eyes of the rest of the world, most notably in the eyes of our European partners and allies.”
Sullivan says he does not believe China can compensate Russia for the economic losses it would sustain from the sanctions Western nations have proposed in the event of an invasion. He noted the West represents more than 50 percent of global GDP, while China and Russia are less than 20 percent.