Ukraine conflict: Biden causes irritation

Status: 01/20/2022 02:51 am

At his White House press conference, US President Biden seemed to imply that the threat of NATO sanctions could depend on the extent of a potential Russian invasion.

US President Joe Biden has caused irritation with statements about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine. The US Democrat appeared to imply at a White House press conference that threatened sanctions by NATO could depend on the extent of a potential Russian invasion.

“It’s one thing when it’s a minor intrusion,” Biden said. “But if they actually do what they are able to do with the forces gathered at the border, then it will be a catastrophe for Russia.”

Reaction from Ukraine follows promptly

The US broadcaster CNN quoted an unnamed Ukrainian government official as saying he was “shocked that US President Biden distinguished between intrusion and invasion”. This gives Russian President Vladimir Putin “the green light to invade Ukraine at will”. Prominent Republican senator and foreign policymaker Lindsey Graham said he was “stunned” by Biden’s comments.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki sought clarification shortly after Biden’s appearance. “President Biden has made it clear to the Russian President that if Russian forces move across the Ukrainian border, it will be another invasion, and the United States and our allies will respond quickly, harshly and as one,” Psaki said.

However, the US President knows that Russia has “an extensive range of instruments for aggression” below the threshold of military action – for example cyber attacks and paramilitary tactics. Biden has reiterated that such aggression by the Russians “will be answered with a resolute, mutual and joint response.”

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