WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden was due to address the nation on Friday afternoon, which the White House said was a U.S. effort to ease tensions around Ukraine amid intensified shelling and possible false flag attacks that Russia could use to falsely justify the invasion. .

Biden will make remarks after a call with leaders of the transatlantic countries to discuss continued deterrence and diplomacy efforts, as well as what the White House called “building up Russian troops on Ukraine’s border.”

Although he said a diplomatic solution was still possible, on Thursday he called the threat of conflict “very high” and expected Russia to invade Ukraine “in the next few days.”

The Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau will take part in the call together with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Britain, the EU and NATO, according to the Trudeau office.

On Friday, a Russian-backed separatist leader in eastern Ukraine called on his supporters to begin a mass evacuation to Russia, arguing that Ukraine was preparing to invade the region. Ukraine immediately denied the statement.

The Biden administration has repeatedly warned that Moscow is likely to produce Ukrainian provocations to justify the invasion of its smaller neighbor.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Friday that the situation was “exacerbated”, apparently blaming Ukraine.

Kyiv needs to sit down at the negotiating table with Donbass representatives and agree on political, military, economic and humanitarian measures to end the conflict, ”Putin said at a press conference with the Belarusian leader on Friday.

But Putin continues to demand assurances from the West that Ukraine will never join NATO, a concession that US officials are reluctant to make.

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