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US says Putin will be making a 'serious mistake' if he invades Ukraine: Blinken is 'looking at ways' of dealing with the Belarus standoff and Kamala says the 'eyes of the world' are on the border after Putin deployed troops and sent in bombers

  Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was warned Russian President Vladimir Putin he would be making a 'serious mistake' if he invade...

 Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was warned Russian President Vladimir Putin he would be making a 'serious mistake' if he invaded Ukraine and Kamala Harris said the 'eyes of the world' are on the Belarus border as the Biden administration waded into the chaos in eastern Europe. 

The vice president said Friday the U.S. is 'very concerned' about Russian military movements amid a tense immigration crisis in Belarus that has the potential to spill over into other countries in Europe.

And President Joe Biden issued his own expression of concern as he left the White House for Camp David on Friday.

'It’s of great concern. We’ve communicated our concern to Russia. We’ve communicated our concern to Belarus. We think it’s a problem,' he said in response to a shouted question from a reporter.

Harris spoke about the situation at a press conference in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron – after Russia conducted bombing exercises with Belarusian forces and built up troops along its border with Ukraine – prompting the U.S. to assert its 'ironclad' commitment to Ukrainian security.

'On the issue of Belarus and what is happening at the border with Poland, we are very concerned about that and closely paying attention to it,' she said.

She also gave a warning to President Alexander Lukashenko's government. 

'The Lukashenko regime, I believe is engaged in very troubling activity. It is something that I discussed with President Macron, and the eyes of the world and its leaders are watching what is happening there,' she said. 

Amid the chaos on Europe's doorstep, the White House last night warned Brussels to brace for a Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

The CIA briefed European officials about a possible Russian assault to capture territory in eastern Ukraine similar to the 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula. 

The EU said it is alarmed by Russian military activities close to Ukraine, is watching the situation closely and 'looking at further steps' along with the United States and Britain.

The situation escalated on Friday with developments including: 

  •  The EU said it is alarmed by Russian military activities close to Ukraine, is watching the situation closely and 'looking at further steps' along with the United States and Britain
  •  Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Russia is waging 'hybrid warfare' on Europe using migrants 
  •  US and European delegations accused Minsk of endangering lives for political ends at UN Security Council
  •  Former UK defense minister Tobias Ellwood called Russia's moves 'deeply concerning' and a 'test of resolve'
  • Turkey barred citizens from Iraq, Syrian and Yemen from flying to Belarus amid fears they will head to border 

'Very troubling': Vice President Kamala Harris said the U.S. is 'very concerned' about the situation in Belarus amid a Russian troop buildup on the Ukrainian border

'Very troubling': Vice President Kamala Harris said the U.S. is 'very concerned' about the situation in Belarus amid a Russian troop buildup on the Ukrainian border

Fears are growing of an imminent conflict in eastern Europe as Russia and Belarus carry out snap military drills close to where a migrant crisis is playing out on Poland's border, while Washington warns Putin is preparing to invade eastern Ukraine

Fears are growing of an imminent conflict in eastern Europe as Russia and Belarus carry out snap military drills close to where a migrant crisis is playing out on Poland's border, while Washington warns Putin is preparing to invade eastern Ukraine 

Amid the tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Belarus is pressuring Europe over migrants and has threatened to cut off gas supplies to the continent by shutting the Yamal-Europe pipeline which runs through its territory (pictured)

Amid the tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Belarus is pressuring Europe over migrants and has threatened to cut off gas supplies to the continent by shutting the Yamal-Europe pipeline which runs through its territory (pictured) 


Blinken on Wednesday warned Moscow against making another 'serious mistake' in Ukraine, in reference to its 2014 invasion. 

He addressed the situation once again on Friday. 

'We are also very concerned by efforts by Belarus to use migration as a political weapon. I am not going to preview any possible sanctions, but we are looking at various tools that we have,' he said, speaking at a press conference with Qatari officials. 

At the White House, press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated administration concerns about Russia's military moves as well as 'harsh rhetoric.'

She said the administration has made clear in discussions with Russian officials that 'escalatory aggressive actions would be of great concern to the United States.'

Russia is carrying out snap military drills in Belarus just a few miles from the Polish border today, as fears grow that Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing for an invasion in eastern Europe.

The U.S. and European allies accuse Lukashenko of seeking to destabilize its neighbors by deliberately massing migrants from the Middle East and North Africa along the Polish border and seeking to push them across.

Thousands of migrants have been brought into Belarus, and are lined up along the border with Poland and Lithuania but are blocked from entering. The European Union calls it a 'hybrid attack' and is preparing sanctions on Minsk.

Russia has defended its ally and has denied Belarus is using the immigrants as a 'tool of war' to pressure European countries.

'Russia doesn’t threaten anyone,' said Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov. 'The movement of troops on our territory shouldn’t be a cause for anyone’s concern,' he told reporters, the Associated Press reported. 

Russia's defense ministry said the unannounced drill involved paratroopers from both countries dropping at the Gozhsky range, just 20 miles from where thousands of migrants are gathered at the Polish border, where they practiced capturing bridges as well as hunting down and destroying enemy patrols. 

Belarus said the drill was in response to the 'build-up of military activity' at the Polish border, where 15,000 troops have been stationed to hold back the migrants, while Russia said it was to test the 'combat readiness' of its troops. 

At the same time, Polish defense minister Mariusz Błaszczak revealed that British military engineers have been deployed to help strengthen the border defenses, amid warnings from all sides that the crisis risks spilling over into an armed conflict. The MoD confirmed a 'small team' has been sent to provide engineering support.

The troops are likely from the light cavalry squadron that the UK currently has stationed in Poland as part of NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence, which includes soldiers from the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers. 

Amidst the tensions, RAF Typhoons from Lossiemouth & Coningsby were also scrambled to escort two Russian nuclear-capable bombers which flew over the North Sea and towards the English Channel today. They were joined on the mission by a Voyager Tanker from RAF Brize Norton, the RAF said.

Separately, Washington warned its European allies that Putin could be preparing for an invasion of Ukraine's eastern borders - hundreds of miles from where the migrant crisis is playing out - after satellites spotted troops, tanks and artillery pieces massing there. 

Ukraine - which has been fighting a proxy-war against Russian-backed separatists in its eastern regions for years - has moved 8,500 more troops to the region in response. 

Addressing the crisis today, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denounced what he called 'increased provocations' against Russia, saying his country 'can't stay indifferent to that; we must be on our guard.' 

'We take measures to ensure our security when opponents take defiant action near our borders,' Peskov added. 


Russia and Belarus said paratroopers from both countries had been involved in joint drills in Gozhsky today, located just 20 miles from the Polish border where migrants are trying to cross

Russia and Belarus said paratroopers from both countries had been involved in joint drills in Gozhsky today, located just 20 miles from the Polish border where migrants are trying to cross

The Belarusian defense ministry said the troops practiced capturing bridges, hunting down and destroying targets, and defeating enemy patrols during the drill to 'test combat readiness'

The Belarusian defense ministry said the troops practiced capturing bridges, hunting down and destroying targets, and defeating enemy patrols during the drill to 'test combat readiness'

The surprise training mission came as it was revealed British military engineers are now at the border to strengthen the defenses, amid warnings from all sides that the situation risks spilling over into armed conflict

The surprise training mission came as it was revealed British military engineers are now at the border to strengthen the defenses, amid warnings from all sides that the situation risks spilling over into armed conflict

Poland has deployed some 15,000 troops to its eastern border where they have spent much of this week trying to hold back thousands of migrants that Lukashenko's regime is accused of forcing into the region

Poland has deployed some 15,000 troops to its eastern border where they have spent much of this week trying to hold back thousands of migrants that Lukashenko's regime is accused of forcing into the region

Poland, along with the leaders of nearby Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, has been warning that the crisis has the potential to spill over into a full-blown conflict

Poland, along with the leaders of nearby Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, has been warning that the crisis has the potential to spill over into a full-blown conflict

The military drills are taking place just 20 miles from the Kuznica border crossing with Poland, where thousands of migrants are currently gathered trying to cross over

The military drills are taking place just 20 miles from the Kuznica border crossing with Poland, where thousands of migrants are currently gathered trying to cross over

Poland has reported dozens of attempts to cross the border today, including a group of migrants who broke through the Belarusian side of the crossing and began trying to cross the Polish side of the fence

Poland has reported dozens of attempts to cross the border today, including a group of migrants who broke through the Belarusian side of the crossing and began trying to cross the Polish side of the fence


Meanwhile Sergei Shoigu, Russia's defense minister, warned his French counterparts that the military situation in Europe 'continues to deteriorate' while slamming NATO for 'building up its military presence' near Russia's border.

Speaking after a meeting with French officials in Paris, Shoigu insisted that Russia is working to 'increase predictability and reduce the risk of incidents' in the border region. 

Former British defense minister Tobias Elwood, who now chairs the Commons Defence Committee, said: 'Russia and Belarus's aggression in Eastern Europe is not mutually exclusive and should deeply concern the West.

'It's a test of our collective resolve. If we are not resolute in our support for Poland and Ukraine then authoritarianism wins and we invite further destabilising adventurism.'

NATO said on Friday it is looking out for any escalation in the situation on its members' borders with Belarus, after Belarusian and Russian paratroopers staged joint drills near the Polish and Lithuanian borders.


'We will remain vigilant against the risk of further escalation and provocation by Belarus at its borders with Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia, and will continue to monitor the implications for the security of the alliance,' the North Atlantic Council, representing the alliance's member states, said in a statement.

'NATO allies call on Belarus to cease these actions, to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, and to abide by international law.'

American intelligence sources briefed their European counterparts of a possible Kremlin military operation in Ukraine's east to annex territory similar to the 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula, Bloomberg reported.

The US has refused to share exactly what intel it has of an imminent attack, but the warning comes after satellite images revealed a build-up of tens of thousands of Russian troops, tanks and artillery pieces close to the border. 

The EU accuses Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko of forcing migrants to make illegal crossings into Poland in a cynical attempt to destabilise the bloc using vulnerable people as his weapon. 

On Thursday, Lukashenko himself warned of the risk of a conflict and accused armed groups in the Donbas region of Ukraine of trying to ship weapons to the migrants on the Polish border in order to spark fighting. 

'They are Kurds, and the Kurds are militant,' he said according to Polish newspaper Wyborcza. 'When Poles beat them, cut them, torment them, etc., they become desperate. One rifle, one gun, and armed conflict is ready.' 

Lukashenko has also threatened to cut off natural gas supplies running from Russia and through his country into Europe - though that threat was angrily slapped down by Moscow today.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin's spokesman, said Lukashenko had not coordinated with Moscow before making the remark and added that Russian pledged to fulfil gas contracts are 'beyond doubt'. 

It came after Lukashenko spoke out at a meeting of government officials on Thursday, musing: 'We are heating Europe and they are threatening us... What if we cut off their natural gas? 

'I would recommend the Polish and Lithuanian authorities to think before they speak up.'

Russia's Yamal-Europe pipeline runs through Belarus and into Poland, representing about 20 per cent of the country's total gas-carrying capacity into Europe.

The continent relies on natural gas for around a quarter of its energy needs, more than half of which is piped in from Russia - which sits on top of the world's largest gas reserves.

Just weeks ago, European leaders were trying to negotiate with Russia to increase supplies as stockpiles of gas ran low due to surging demand as economies reopen post-Covid.

The EU accused Putin of throttling the flow of gas as a political bargaining tool to try and get a new gas pipeline - the multi-billion dollar Nord Stream 2 - opened. He denied the allegations.

Concerns about Russian troops on Ukraine's border have been ongoing since at least April this year, when Putin moved around 100,000 soldiers, tanks and artillery pieces to the region without warning.

He later said the exercise was to test 'military readiness' and pulled some of the units back, but NATO warned that many of them had remained at the front even after the 'exercise' was over. 


Drone footage taken by Belarus border guards shows part of a large migrant camp that has sprung up along the Polish border, as the EU accuses Belarus of forcing vulnerable people into harm's way

Drone footage taken by Belarus border guards shows part of a large migrant camp that has sprung up along the Polish border, as the EU accuses Belarus of forcing vulnerable people into harm's way 

Poland has been complaining that Belarus has been sending migrants to its borders for months, but the crisis dramatically escalated this week with the sudden arrival of thousands of migrants in the area

Poland has been complaining that Belarus has been sending migrants to its borders for months, but the crisis dramatically escalated this week with the sudden arrival of thousands of migrants in the area

Washington's warning comes as Putin masses his forces close to Ukrainian territory, with satellite images taken in the last few weeks showing large camps of tanks and artillery pieces in the region

Washington's warning comes as Putin masses his forces close to Ukrainian territory, with satellite images taken in the last few weeks showing large camps of tanks and artillery pieces in the region

Ukraine warns there are now some 90,000 Russian soldiers near its border, where it has been fighting a years-long insurgency in its eastern regions by Russian-backed separatists

Ukraine warns there are now some 90,000 Russian soldiers near its border, where it has been fighting a years-long insurgency in its eastern regions by Russian-backed separatists

Poland has moved some 15,000 troops to its border with Belarus to help contain a migrant crisis that the EU accuses Lukashenko of engineering, amid warnings that situation could also spill over into conflict

Poland has moved some 15,000 troops to its border with Belarus to help contain a migrant crisis that the EU accuses Lukashenko of engineering, amid warnings that situation could also spill over into conflict

Polish troops have accused their Belarusian counterparts of inflaming tensions by firing blank rounds and pushing migrants through the border fence in an attempt to provoke a confrontation

Polish troops have accused their Belarusian counterparts of inflaming tensions by firing blank rounds and pushing migrants through the border fence in an attempt to provoke a confrontation

Russia has been flying nuclear-capable bombers over Belarus - its close ally - in a show of strength amidst the crisis

Russia has been flying nuclear-capable bombers over Belarus - its close ally - in a show of strength amidst the crisis


Russia then held more military drills around the Crimean peninsula and Ukraine's eastern border over the summer, with yet more troops moved to the region.

The drills were closely watched by western powers with tensions almost spilling over into confrontation, including an episode in which Russian warships fired warning shots at a British vessel.

More troop and tank movements spotted via satellite in recent weeks spooked Washington even further, and prompted this week's warning to European leaders about a confrontation. 

CIA Director Bill Burns even flew  to Moscow and have a rare one-on-one with President Vladimir Putin.

There he shared the US's 'serious' concerns over the military buildup, sources told CNN

DailyMail.com reached out to the State Department for comment but was referred to comments made on Wednesday by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, when he echoed similar concerns in a press conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

'We're concerned by reports of unusual Russian military activity near Ukraine. We're monitoring the region very closely, as we always do, we'll continue to consult closely as well with allies and partners on this issue,' Blinken told reporters.

'And as we've made clear, any escalatory or aggressive actions would be of great concern to the United States. We continue to support de-escalation in the region and diplomatic resolution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.'

The report comes as fighting between Russian-backed groups and Ukrainian forces heats up. It began in 2014 after Russia illegally annexed the Crimean peninsula following a revolution that overthrew Ukraine's former president who was widely seen as another mouthpiece of Putin's. 

Ukraine's Joint Forces Operation, a militarized force created in 2018 to defend the country in the ongoing conflict in the Donbas region, accused Russia of violating the ceasefire agreement five times over a 24-hour period on Monday. 

In a statement posted to Facebook the JFO accused Russia of 'armed aggression,' though the Kremlin has consistently denied involvement in the conflict. 

Tensions in Europe have been inflamed by a gas shortage, with Russian company Gazprom, the continent's top energy supplier, having decreased its daily outflow in October in order to meet the needs of Putin's domestic replenishment campaign. 

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Putin of intentionally engineering the gas crisis and urged western Europe to act swiftly with punishment.

But Gazprom increased its output to Europe earlier this week after Russia' stockpile was deemed full.  

The Biden administration is reportedly warning European allies of the possibility of an imminent attack by Russia on Ukraine
He sent his CIA director to Moscow earlier this month for a talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin

The Biden administration is reportedly warning European allies of the possibility of an imminent attack by Russia on Ukraine, though Russia denied the accusations

Belarusian troops stand guard while id workers had out food on the Belarusian side of the border on Friday

Belarusian troops stand guard while id workers had out food on the Belarusian side of the border on Friday

Migrants unload logs during the distribution of humanitarian aid in a makeshift camp on the Belarusian-Polish border

Migrants unload logs during the distribution of humanitarian aid in a makeshift camp on the Belarusian-Polish border

Belarus denies engineering the crisis and has warned that armed groups in Ukraine are trying to give weapons to the migrants to spark a conflict (pictured, Belarusian troops marshal thousands of migrants near the border)

Belarus denies engineering the crisis and has warned that armed groups in Ukraine are trying to give weapons to the migrants to spark a conflict (pictured, Belarusian troops marshal thousands of migrants near the border)

Migrants gather for getting humanitarian aid spread by Belarusian militaries at the camp at the Belarus-Polish border on November 11. Belarus's strongman dictator threatened to choke off Europe's gas supply from Russia if the west follows through on its promise of sanctions over the growing refugee crisis in the region

Migrants gather for getting humanitarian aid spread by Belarusian militaries at the camp at the Belarus-Polish border on November 11. Belarus's strongman dictator threatened to choke off Europe's gas supply from Russia if the west follows through on its promise of sanctions over the growing refugee crisis in the region

Russia has also been accused of helping engineer the crisis, which the West has called a 'hybrid attack'

Russia has also been accused of helping engineer the crisis, which the West has called a 'hybrid attack'


But the burgeoning refugee crisis on the border between Poland and Russia's neighbor Belarus is threatening to further complicate the situation, which could grow more dire going into winter.

Much of Russia's oil supply to Europe runs through Belarus and Poland. 

Over the last week western democracies have accused Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko of 'weaponizing' migrants from Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East by enabling them to fly to his country before seeking to break into the EU.

Devastating scenes have emerged from the region of desperate migrants getting brutal treatment from soldiers on both sides. Some even froze to death in the harsh Eastern European climate this time of year.

In response to threats of expanded sanctions, Lukashenko threatened to shut down the oil supply coming in from Russia to the rest of Europe.

'I would recommend the leadership of Poland, Lithuanians and other empty-headed people to think before speaking,' he said. 

Among the countries vowing sanctions over the conflict are NATO and EU member states, as well as the US. 

Russia has also been accused of escalating the crisis, and the EU is reportedly in talks to target national airline Aeroflot as part of a new sanctions package.

The Kremlin said on Thursday that Russia had nothing to do with the migrant crisis on the Belarus-Poland border and rejected the suggestion as 'crazy.'

It instead blamed the EU itself, claiming the international body was trying to 'strangle' Belarus. 

However, two supersonic Tu-22M3 nuclear bombers were seen performing 'tasks of combat alert for air defense' in support of the Belarus leader, the Russian defense ministry said in response to the rising tensions on the border.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a joint news conference with his Belarusian counterpart Vladimir Makei that he hoped responsible Europeans would 'not allow themselves to be drawn into a spiral that is fairly dangerous'. 


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