Biden administration considers evacuating U.S. citizens in Ukraine if Russia invades: Report

Officials are emphasizing that the possible plan will not be like the evacuation from Afghanistan.
President Joe Biden shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden June 16, 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland.
(Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)

The Biden administration is considering evacuating U.S. citizens from Ukraine if Russia invades the Eastern European nation.

The evacuation would be led by the Pentagon, CNN reports. Russia has placed an estimated 70,000 troops on its border with Ukraine, the latter of which has requested military aid and equipment in response, preparing for an invasion early next year.

State Department undersecretary Victoria Nuland told senators Monday that the administration plans on issuing sanctions in response to an attack by Russia, CNN reports. Nuland acknowledged that actions to deter an invasion are limited.

President Joe Biden had a two-hour phone call with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Tuesday. Biden plans to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday.

It is unclear how many American citizens are in Ukraine at the moment. 

U.S. officials emphasize that the evacuation would not look like Biden's first. More than 120,000 people were chaotically evacuated from Afghanistan in a few weeks by the United States, other governments and private organizations. At least 200 Americans remain stranded in Afghanistan as of November, according to Politico.