White House says Russia could attack Ukraine 'at any point'
US blames Putin for creating crisis by amassing 100,000 Russian troops near Ukraine
The White House warned of an imminent attack Tuesday by Russia on Ukraine and repeated a warning of severe economic consequences for Moscow in the event of such aggression.
"We're now at a stage where Russia could at any point launch an attack in Ukraine," spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters at a news conference.
Psaki said it was Russian President Vladimir Putin who sparked the crisis by amassing 100,000 Russian troops along Ukraine's borders and moving forces into Belarus for joint exercises and conducting additional exercises on Ukraine's eastern border.
"So let's be clear, our view is this is an extremely dangerous situation," she said.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Ukraine this week, the State Department announced earlier, amid continued western concerns that Russia is preparing for an invasion.
Blinken is departing Tuesday and the department billed the trip as part of continued "extensive diplomacy with our European Allies and partners about a united approach to address the threat Russia poses to Ukraine and our joint efforts to encourage it to choose diplomacy and de-escalation in the interests of security and stability."
Psaki said Blinken will "highlight very clearly there's a diplomatic path forward.
"It is the choice of President Putin and the Russians to make whether they are going to suffer severe economic consequences or not," she added.