Russia invasion of Ukraine could be soon but talks still an option, U.S. official says

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FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian service members guard the area near the line of separation in the Donetsk region

(Corrects television attribution in paragraph 3 to say NBC not ABC)

WASHINGTON – Russia could invade Ukraine within days or weeks but could still opt for a diplomatic path forward, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday.

“We are in the window. Any day now, Russia could take military action against Ukraine, or it could be a couple of weeks from now, or Russia could choose to take the diplomatic path instead,” Sullivan, who gave a round of television interviews, told the “Fox News Sunday” program.

Any possible Russian action could include annexing Ukraine’s Donbass region, cyberattacks or a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Sullivan NBC News’ “Meet the Press” program, adding that Russia could act as soon as on Monday though it could also be weeks.

Russia has in place about 70% of the combat power it believes it would need for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and is sending more battalion tactical groups to the border with its neighbor, two U.S. officials said on Saturday.

As Russia masses more than 100,000 troops near the border, Moscow has said it is not planning an invasion but could take unspecified military action if its security demands are not met. Those include a promise that NATO will never admit Ukraine, a demand the United States and NATO have called unacceptable.

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Susan Heavey; Editing by Will Dunham and Lisa Shumaker)


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