American officials say that the US and Russia are getting closer to meeting to talk about Ukraine tensions, but they say that Russia is still building up its forces for possible military action against its neighbour.

This is what Vladimir Putin said: US and Russia officials will meet in Geneva on January 6. The U.S. has also suggested talks, and the two sides are still trying to figure out how to structure the talks and which channels to use, U.S. officials say.

The U.S. has said that it will take strong action against Russia, including harsh economic penalties and strengthening the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s capabilities on the land of its Eastern European members. This is to keep Russia from attacking them. However, Biden administration officials say they’re willing to talk about how to ease tensions.

There are now 53 Russian battalion tactical groups close to the border with Ukraine, up from 50 in recent weeks, US officials say. They say that the troop buildup is going on as well, though. Troops: Each group has about 800 people.

US intelligence analysts now think that a Russian attack is more likely than they thought a few weeks ago.

A government official said, “That’s how we’re going to think about it.”

One more U.S. intelligence official said: “They’re definitely moving,” he said of Russian troops near Ukraine.

People in the US aren’t sure if Vladimir Putin is trying to get President Biden to make concessions or if Moscow is planning to use military force because it thinks its demands won’t be met. Repeated calls from the Biden administration for Russia to calm down have not been taken seriously.

In the past, US and Russia have had a lot of problems with each other because of cybercrime, diplomats being kicked out of the country, and migrants moving to Belarus. Now, there is a military buildup on the Ukrainian border. The Wall Street Journal talks about what is making the divide between Washington and Moscow even bigger. An image or video of Michelle Inez Simon.

It was President Biden’s goal to lay the groundwork for what he called a stable and predictable relationship with Russia when he met with Vladimir Putin in June.

During the fall, Russia started moving more troops near Ukraine. That plan was thrown off by the move. It was earlier this month that the Kremlin said it wanted NATO to change its past statements that Ukraine and Georgia will one day join the alliance and stop having military ties with those former Soviet republics and other areas that used to be part of the Soviet Union.

In response to those demands, Vice President Biden has said that he doesn’t agree with them. U.S. officials say that would be like having a Russian “sphere of influence” around the United States.

An official from the government told reporters on Thursday that they hoped talks could start in early January. It would also lead to more sanctions on Russia, more military equipment for Ukraine, and a stronger military presence on NATO’s eastern flank, he said.

We and our allies are ready to make Russia pay a lot of money if it does what it says it doesn’t want: more NATO capabilities, not less. “If that happens, we and our allies are ready to make Russia pay a lot of money.”

So far, Russia hasn’t shown that it is afraid of the threats that have been made. The Russian president said that Russia’s actions would depend on how the talks went and “the unconditional provision of Russia’s security, now and in the future.”

There was a nearly four-hour press conference, and Putin said that “further moves of NATO eastward are not acceptable.” In front of our house, they are Is it too much to ask for no more attack weapons systems to be near our home? “Does this look weird to you?”

Some experts think that the threat of sanctions hasn’t worked, and that Moscow is preparing its people for a possible military intervention.

A separatist rebellion broke out in the eastern region of Donbas in 2014, when Russia invaded Ukraine and took Crimea. Since then, the U.S. has put sanctions on about 735 people, including about 75 people who did things outside of Ukraine, according to the Congressional Research Service. An ex-official, who worked on Russia policy for the Obama administration, said that these things haven’t even made a little bit of difference.

It won’t work to punish Russia economically, says Jeffrey Edmonds, who was a top adviser to the Obama administration when Russia took Crimea. “From their point of view, no amount of money can make up for the fact that the U.S. military is sitting on their borders.”

Russia has a lot of troops near Ukraine, and they could reach 175,000 if they invade. The battalion tactical groups are the first line of defence.

People in the Biden administration say that the sanctions they plan to put on Russia will be much more harsh than those that have been put on before. They have tried to make that point to Russia. When he talked to Putin, Biden said that the sanctions his government is planning are “like none he’s ever seen.” It’s not clear what sanctions the US and its allies have worked together on, though.

It has also been hard to set a date and place for the talks. The US and Russia wants to start talks on their own.

So the US wants to make sure people don’t think that talks about what could be a new division of Europe into different parts would go on without American help. The administration wants the talks to happen through three existing channels: bilateral talks in Geneva, talks in the NATO-Russia Council, and talks in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which deals with issues like arms control, human rights, and fair elections.