White House says Biden-Putin summit no longer viable, as Japan, Australia and Canada impose additional sanctions on Russia over Ukraine invasion

The White House has announced that US President Joe Biden will no longer be holding a summit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, after Russia declared parts of Ukraine as independent and invaded them on Tuesday, February 23.

The US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has also called off a Thursday meeting with his Russian counterpart, Dmitri Peskov saying it no longer makes sense since the US believes a Russian invasion of Ukraine has begun.

Also, Canada, Australia and Japan have joined US, UK, France in imposing sanctions on Russia.

Australia’s PM Scott Morrison warned on Wednesday that a full-scale invasion is “likely to occur within the next 24 hours” while Australia and New Zealand have called in Russia’s ambassadors to express their opposition to Putin’s actions.

Morrison also said Russia was “at peak readiness to now complete a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and that is likely to occur within the next 24 hours. There are even reports already of shelling and things of that nature which could indicate that it has already begun.”

He added that liberal democracies needed to stand together to oppose authoritarian states “seeking to have their way”.

Australia’s sanctions will target banks, transport, energy, oil, gas and telecommunications.Eight Russian individuals would be affected by Australia’s sanctions, local media reported.

“We will be standing up to Russia, along with all of our partners and all those who believe that it’s totally unacceptable that Russia could invade its neighbour,” Morrison told reporters in Australia.

In another development, Ukraine has received plane loads of weapons and military gear from Canada as fears rise of a full-blown Russian attack.

Canada’s Minister of National Defence on Wednesday morning, February 23 tweeted that a second delivery of “lethal aid” has now been sent to Ukraine.

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