Biden threatens personal sanctions against Putin in the event of Russian invasion of Ukraine

US President Joe Biden has said he would consider personal sanctions on Vladimir Putin if Russia invades Ukraine, and that there would be "enormous consequences" for the world if Russia made a move on the nation, which sits on its south-western border.

His comments came as other Western leaders repeated warnings that Russia would pay a heavy price for invasion.

Russia has accused the US and others of "escalating tensions" over the issue and denies planning to enter Ukraine. Moscow has however deployed an estimated 100,000+ soldiers near the border.

The Kremlin has said it sees the Western military alliance Nato as a security threat, and is demanding legal guarantees that it will not add new members further east, including neighbouring Ukraine. But the US has said the issue at stake is Russian aggression, not Nato expansion.

Fears of invasion have prompted Western embassies in Kyiv to withdraw some personnel.

Taking questions from reporters on Tuesday, Mr Biden replied "yes" when asked whether he could see himself imposing sanctions on the Russian president personally in the event of an invasion.

Such a move across Ukraine's border would mean "enormous consequences worldwide" and could amount to "the largest invasion since World War Two", he said.

In the past the US has imposed sanctions on foreign leaders including Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Venezuela's Nicolás Maduro and former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Measures included blocking property and transactions related to the leaders' respective countries.

Mr Biden added that he would feel obliged to beef up Nato's presence in eastern Europe if Russia invaded.

"We have to make it clear that there's no reason for anyone, any member of Nato, to worry whether... Nato would come to their defence," he said.

But he repeated that there were no plans to send US troops to Ukraine itself.

On Wednesday UK Foreign Minister Liz Truss echoed Mr Biden's words, telling broadcaster Sky News that the government is "not ruling anything out" - including sanctions against the Russian leader.

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