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Latest Russia-Ukraine updates: US says Putin may face sanctions

Russia-Ukraine tensions news from January 25: Biden says NATO has ‘no intention’ of sending forces to Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden has said he would consider imposing economic sanctions personally targeting Vladimir Putin if the Russian president orders a new attack on Ukraine.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged European allies to have sanctions ready to go if Russia invades Ukraine.

“We have a hard-hitting package of sanctions ready to go and what I think it would be fair to say is we want to see our European friends ready to deploy that package as soon as there should be any incursion at all by Russia into Ukraine,” Johnson said in a statement to parliament on Tuesday.

Russia has amassed some 100,000 troops within reach of Ukraine’s border, but denies planning an invasion. Instead, it has cited the Western response to its military buildup as evidence that Russia is the target of aggression.

On Monday, Washington put 8,500 troops on heightened alert for possible deployment to Eastern Europe, potentially at very short notice, and other NATO member states moved to boost their security presence in the region. Moscow hit back at that move, saying the United States was escalating tensions.

The live blog is now closed; thank you for joining us. Here are the updates for January 25.

2 hours ago (22:29 GMT)

Key US Republican says Congress will sanction Putin

Key Republican US Senator Lindsey Graham has vowed that Congress will impose sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin for amassing troops near the Ukrainian border.

“Congress, I think in a bipartisan fashion, is going to sanction Putin for the disruption to the world order by the military buildup, not invasion,” Graham told The Brian Kilmeade Show on Tuesday.

The senator, a foreign policy hawk and frequent critic of President Joe Biden, added that Congress will also agree to send “more weapons” to Ukraine.

Sen. Graham on 'Kilmeade Show': Biden has been a 'wrecking ball' on national security his whole career

— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 25, 2022

2 hours ago (22:00 GMT)

Spain says sanctions against Russia would be ‘forceful’ if needed

Spain vowed to support a “massive, forceful package” of economic measures against Russia if it launches military action against Ukraine, its foreign minister has said.

Jose Manuel Albares said that European nations had resources other than force to dissuade Russia from any military intervention in the neighbouring country, including ones that would have “massive economic consequences and high costs” for Russia.

“I can assure you that it will be a massive, forceful package [of sanctions],” Albares told Spain’s parliament on Tuesday night.

2 hours ago (21:47 GMT)

US warns Belarus against helping Russia invade Ukraine

The United States has warned Belarus of “swift and decisive response” if it assists ally Russia in invading neighbouring Ukraine.

“We’ve also made clear to Belarus that if it allows its territory to be used for an attack on Ukraine, it would face a swift and decisive response from the United States and our allies and partners,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

2 hours ago (21:36 GMT)

US backs European talks with Russia

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price has voiced support for European engagements with Russia, saying that Washington and its allies are united in seeking a diplomatic resolution in the crisis in Ukraine.

“We know the fact that our allies and partners are engaged in diplomacy and dialogue. To us, that’s a good thing,” Price told reporters on Tuesday. “But it is incumbent in all of this on the Russian Federation to take steps to demonstrate that dialogue and diplomacy are viable.”

Price’s comments come ahead of a phone call between French President Emmanuel Macron and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, set for Friday.

Ned PriceUS State Department spokesman Ned Price says talks between European allies and Russia are a ‘good thing’ [Kevin Lamarque/Pool via Reuters]

3 hours ago (20:54 GMT)

Situation in eastern Ukraine ‘under control’: Zelenskyy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has addressed the nation and said decisions made Monday in a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council show that “everything is under control, there is no reason to panic”.

He said the main topic on the agenda was the situation in eastern Ukraine and authorities are doing their best to de-escalate and find a peaceful settlement of the issue.

“We are aware of everything; we are ready for everything; we believe in the best; and we do everything to this end together with our partners, our diplomats, and most importantly, our military,” he said.

3 hours ago (20:49 GMT)

Escalated conflict would keep inflation higher longer: IMF

An escalated conflict between Russia and Ukraine would likely further increase energy costs and commodities prices for many countries, keeping headline inflation rates elevated for longer, a top International Monetary Fund official has said.

First Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath told Reuters the situation now is far different than in 2014 when Russia annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine, and energy prices fell quite sharply amid low demand and ample shale gas supplies.

“This time around … if this conflict were to happen, you would see an increase in energy prices,” Gopinath told Reuters in an interview, noting the current crisis was unfolding in the European winter and natural gas reserves were much lower in Europe.

3 hours ago (20:34 GMT)

US says it incorporates Ukraine feedback in written response to Russian demands

The US has solicited Ukraine’s feedback and incorporated it into its written response to Russia’s security demands, a US Department of State spokesperson has said.

3 hours ago (20:29 GMT)

Biden: Attack on Ukraine could be ‘largest invasion’ since WWII

A Russian incursion into Ukraine could become the “largest invasion” since World War II given the massive troop presence near the border, according to Biden.

Such an event would “change the world,” he told reporters.

Biden warned that Putin “continues to build forces along Ukraine’s border from Belarus”.

President Joe Biden speaks with members of the media as he visits the local clothing store Honey Made store in WashingtonUS President Joe Biden speaks with members of the media as he visits the Honey Made clothing store in Washington, DC [Andrew Harni/AP Photo]

4 hours ago (20:17 GMT)

Belarus strengthening forces at Ukrainian border: Lukashenko

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said that upcoming joint drills with Russia will help to determine positions for deploying more Belarusian troops at the border with Ukraine.

Speaking during a state awards ceremony, Lukashenko said Belarus is strengthening its military forces at the border with Ukraine.

“I was forced do it, because the situation on the border with Ukraine is not better than it’s on the border with Poland,” he said.

4 hours ago (20:13 GMT)

Putin meeting with Italy business elite to go ahead

A meeting between Putin and the heads of some of Italy’s top companies to boost business ties between the two countries is set to go ahead on Wednesday, despite rising tensions over Ukraine.

The meeting, originally scheduled for November, will be via a video link and feature top managers at companies like energy group Eni power giant Enel and lender UniCredit.

“Italy is one of the leading exporters to Russia and the idea is to stimulate dialogue between the sides,” one of the organisers said, confirming the event.

4 hours ago (20:08 GMT)

US plane brings Javelin missiles and launchers to Ukraine

A United States plane carrying Javelin anti-tank missiles, launchers and other military hardware has landed in Kyiv, the third shipment of a $200m security package.

“Javelins in Kyiv! A new cargo of security aid – launchers & missiles – with a total weight of about 80 tons. We expect the arrival of the 4th from the big flock of birds soon,” Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov tweeted.

“Thanks to our strategic partner.”

Javelins in Kyiv!A new cargo of security aid – launchers&missiles – with a total weight of about 80 tons.We expect the arrival of the 4th from the big flock of birds soon. Thanks to our strategic partner

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