President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke on the phone soon after Russia began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Biden said in a readout shortly after midnight EST that Zelensky had reached out to him.
“I condemned this unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces,” he said in a statement.
“He asked me to call on the leaders of the world to speak out clearly against President Putin’s flagrant aggression, and to stand with the people of Ukraine,” Biden added, noting that he plans to impose “severe sanctions” on Russia after meeting with G7 leaders on Thursday.
Biden spoke to Zelensky on the phone just before midnight EST, per NBC.
“I spoke with President Biden,” Zelensky said afterwards in a video posted online early Thursday in Kyiv. “The USA is preparing international support.”
The call comes shortly after Biden released a blistering statement promising “further consequences” for Russia’s escalating violence.
“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” Biden wrote.
“Tomorrow, I will meet with my G7 counterparts in the morning and then speak to the American people to announce the further consequences the United States and our Allies and partners will impose on Russia for this needless act of aggression against Ukraine and global peace and security,” he added.
A White House official said to expect those remarks in the early afternoon.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also spoke on the phone with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
“The Secretary and the Secretary General also discussed further steps to ensure the security of Allied territory, especially on NATO’s Eastern Flank,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement. “Secretary Blinken stressed that the U.S. commitment to NATO’s Article 5 is ironclad.”
Article 5 provides for collective defense of all member nations.