Officials from Kyiv plan to meet Russian counterparts, hours after President Vladimir Putin put his country’s nuclear forces on higher alert. Belarus was preparing to send troops into Ukraine as soon as Monday to help its ally Moscow, the Washington Post reported, citing an unnamed U.S. official.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy voiced skepticism that talks planned with Russia for near the Belarus border would yield results but said he was willing to try if it meant any chance of peace. U.S. citizens were advised to consider leaving Russia immediately.
The U.S. and its European allies stepped up their response to the escalating conflict, announcing plans to sanction the central bank in Moscow and cut off various Russian lenders from the critical SWIFT financial messaging system. The offshore Russian ruble fell nearly 30% against the dollar and U.S. President Joe Biden planned to speak with allies on the crisis Monday morning in Washington.