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Biden says crafting a plan for Russia-Ukraine crisis

As tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalate, U.S. President Joe Biden said Friday he is crafting a plan to avert a crisis:

"I have been in constant contact with our allies in Europe."

And make clear to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the costs of any military action would be steep:

"To make it very, very difficult for Mr Putin to go ahead and do what people are worried he may do. But that's in play right now."

Biden's comments come after Ukraine's defense minister Oleksii Reznikov cited intelligence reports that Russia had amassed 94,000 troops near the border and may be gearing up for a major offensive in the new year:

"Our intelligence analyzes all scenarios, including the worst. It notes that the likelihood of a large-scale escalation from Russia exists. The most likely time to reach readiness for an escalation will be the end of January."

Earlier this week the Russian military released video of drills in a region bordering Ukraine.

Ukraine followed with its own artillery drills.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with American Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Stockholm, Sweden, this week, and said Moscow did not seek a renewed conflict with Ukraine.

"Everyone is talking about the escalation of tension in Europe. In particular, on the Russian-Ukrainian border. You know our take on this very well - as President Putin stated we don't want any conflicts."

On Friday, Blinken told the Reuters Next summit that Biden planned to speak with Putin in the coming days and will tell Russia the U.S. was determined to stand against any aggression against an ally.

"And also, to defend the territorial integrity, the sovereignty, the independence of Ukraine."

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