Biden Warns Putin Against Invading Ukraine
AP - President Joe Biden said Wednesday he thinks Russia will invade Ukraine and warned President Vladimir Putin that his country would pay a “dear price” in lives lost and a possible cutoff from the global banking system if it does.
Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_Biden, speaking at a news conference to mark his one-year anniversary in office, also said a “minor incursion” by Russia would elicit a lesser response. He later sought to clarify that he was referring to a non-military action, such as a , that would be met with a similar reciprocal response, and that if Russian forces cross the Ukrainian border, killing Ukrainian fighters, “that changes everything.”
But the comments also hinted at the challenge of keeping the United States and its NATO allies united in their response to Russia. In explaining the minor incursion remark, he said “it’s very important that we keep everyone in on the same page.”
The news conference came at a critical moment in Europe as Russia has amassed 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border and a series of talks in Europe last week failed to ease tensions. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva on Friday. On Wednesday, met with Ukraine’s president in Kyiv and he heads to on Thursday for talks with allies.
Biden reiterated that he did not think that Putin has made a final decision on whether to invade, but speculated “my guess is he will move in.”
Even after he sought to clarify his comments about a potential NATO response to a “minor incursion” by , the White House moved quickly to make clear that Biden was not telegraphing to Putin that the U.S. would tolerate some military action against Ukraine.
White House press secretary Jen noted that the Russians could turn to an “extensive playbook of aggression short of military action, including cyberattacks and paramilitary tactics.”
“President Biden has been clear with the Russian President: If any Russian military forces move across the Ukrainian border, that’s a renewed invasion, and it will be met with a swift, severe, and united response from the United States and our Allies,” Psaki said in a statement.