BBC Newsnight: Russia plans ‘mass intrusion into Ukraine’ warns ex-Georgia president

Ukraine: Russia issued warning by US as hostilities intensify

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Mikheil Saakashvili has spoken to BBC’s Newsnight about whether there is a risk the tensions could lead to full-scale conflict. He said: “I have no doubt about the fact that Vladimir Putin is planning mass intrusion into Ukraine. The question is when.”

The third President of Georgia also highlighted Mr Putin’s outlook on Ukraine, saying the the Russian leader sees it as Russian land.

Mr Saakashvili said: “Remember, this is the guy who said that Ukraine is not a real country, it’s a territory.

“So, the territory is there to be reclaimed.”

The United States has become involved in the conflict with US President Joe Biden demanding an urgent phone with his Russian counterpart.

During the phone call, Mr Biden issued a stern warning over acts of aggression in Ukraine.

Mr Biden made it “clear that the United States will act firmly in defence of its national interests in response to Russia’s actions,” the White House said in a statement.

In response, Russia told Washington to stay out of the Crimea.

Mr Biden sought a peace meeting to elaborate an agreement that suits both sides.

The White House issued a statement outlining the key points of the phone conversations between the two leaders.

About the two presidents, the communication stated: “They discussed a number of regional and global issues, including the intent of the United States and Russia to pursue a strategic stability dialogue on a range of arms control and emerging security issues, building on the extension of the New START Treaty.

“President Biden also made clear that the United States will act firmly in defence of its national interests in response to Russia’s actions, such as cyber intrusions and election interference.

“President Biden emphasised the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“The President voiced our concerns over the sudden Russian military build-up in occupied Crimea and on Ukraine’s borders, and called on Russia to de-escalate tensions.

“President Biden reaffirmed his goal of building a stable and predictable relationship with Russia consistent with US interests, and proposed a summit meeting in a third country in the coming months to discuss the full range of issues facing the United States and Russia.”

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