A European diplomat said that the US had asked for the urgent call with Nato allies and the heads of the EU council and commission, because “it seems like they have some new intelligence they want to share that has made them skittish”.

Biden’s call to allies followed a situation room meeting at the White House to discuss the latest intelligence on the Russian military buildup, which, according to diplomats, has raised the level of alarm within the Biden administration.

The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said on Friday there were “very troubling signs of Russian escalation”.

“We’re in a window when an invasion could begin at any time – and to be clear, that includes during the Olympics,” Blinken said.

The White House said Biden was calling transatlantic leaders “to discuss our shared concerns about Russia’s continued buildup of military forces around Ukraine, and continued coordination on both diplomacy and deterrence”.

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