Russian Embassy Slams NATO States, U.S. Officials Ahead of Biden-Putin Call

The Russian embassy in Washington criticized NATO states and U.S. officials amid escalating tensions over the suggestion of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This comes with President Joe Biden due to speak with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on a video call on Tuesday.

"Russia is not a threat to any country," the Russian embassy in the U.S. tweeted on Saturday.

"The deployment of [Russian] troops on the national territory is our sovereign right and no one's business."

In a follow-up tweet, the embassy added: "It is @NATO and its member states that are recklessly moving their military forces and infrastructure to the Russian borders. Last spring hysterical estimations of the [U.S.] officials on alleged Russian preparations for invasion in [Ukraine] proved to be wrong."

Biden "will underscore U.S. concerns with Russian military activities on the border with Ukraine and reaffirm the United States' support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine" during the call, according to the White House.

That comes as U.S. intelligence officials have reportedly determined that Russia is massing troops along its border with Ukraine in preparation for an offensive in early 2022.

"The Russian plans call for a military offensive against Ukraine as soon as early 2022 with a scale of forces twice what we saw this past spring during Russia's snap exercise near Ukraine's borders," a Biden administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Washington Post. "The plans involve extensive movement of 100 battalion tactical groups with an estimated 175,000 personnel, along with armor, artillery and equipment."

Biden on Friday told reporters that he would make it "very, very difficult" for Putin to invade Ukraine.

"What I am doing is putting together what I believe to be the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for Mr. Putin to go ahead and do what people are worried he may do," he said.

Biden did not elaborate, but Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said the U.S. "must prepare for all contingencies."

Blinken said the U.S. has "made it clear to the Kremlin that we will respond resolutely, including with a range of high-impact economic measures that we've refrained from using in the past."

Russia hit back at the criticism. "If the State Department decided to look for aggressors violating international law, then its partners should start this process, by standing in front of the mirror," Russia's foreign affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on social media.

The Russian News Agency TASS reported that Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov "said that Russia is registering an information campaign of Western countries, which is aimed at presenting Moscow as a threat to the settlement process in Ukraine."

It added that Peskov said it is completely wrong to associate any movements of the Russian armed forces across the territory" of Russia with plans for acts of aggression.

Newsweek has contacted the Russian Embassy and the U.S. State Department for comment.

Russian flag at embassy compound
The Russian flag flies at the embassy's compound in Washington, DC, on April 15, 2021. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images