Biden sees Russia moving in Ukraine, sowing doubt in the Western response

  • Biden recommends minor punishment for Russia’s ‘small infiltration’
  • The White House seeks to clarify Biden’s views
  • US President opens third summit with Putin

Washington / Kiev, Jan 19 (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden on Wednesday predicted that Russia would take action against Ukraine, saying Russia would pay a large sum for a full-scale invasion but would “spend less on small incursions.” . “

Biden’s remarks at a White House press conference prompted uncertainty over how the West would react if Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine, prompting the White House to clarify what Biden meant.

“My guess is he will go in,” Biden told a news conference about Putin. “He has to do something.”

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“Russia will be held accountable if it invades – it depends on what it does. If it is a small intrusion it is one thing, we have to fight about what to do, what not to do, and so on,” Biden said. “But if they really do what they can … if they occupy Ukraine further it will be a disaster for Russia.”

Russian officials have denied plans to re-invade, but the Kremlin has deployed about 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s border, with Western nations claiming that Ukraine is preparing for war to prevent it from joining the NATO-Western security alliance.

Shortly after the end of the two-hour press conference, the White House stressed that the Russian military move into Ukraine would receive a harsh response.

“If any Russian military forces cross the border into Ukraine, it will be a renewed invasion, and it will face a quick, tough and united retaliation from the United States and our allies,” White House spokeswoman Zhen Zhaki said.

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But he said Russia’s cyber-attacks and paramilitary tactics would be met with “a decisive, mutual and united response.”

Republicans were concerned about Biden’s comments.

“Any incursion by the Russian military into Ukraine should be seen as a major incursion because it would destabilize Ukraine and the countries that want independence in Eastern Europe,” said Republican Sen. Rob Portman.

Culminate in ‘a possibility’

Biden said a third summit with Putin was “still possible” after the two leaders met twice last year. He expressed concern that a Ukraine conflict could have far-reaching implications and “get out of hand”.

On January 19, 2022, US Secretary of State Anthony Blingen met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky in Kiev, Ukraine. Via Alex Brandon / Pool REUTERS

Speaking to reporters at length about the threat of overthrowing his presidency, Biden said he hoped Putin would test Western leaders. He said the response to any Russian invasion would depend on the scale of Moscow’s actions and whether the US allies were fighting over how to react.

The U.S. president has said that Biden and his team have prepared a wide range of sanctions and other sanctions to be imposed on Russia in the event of an invasion, and that Russian companies could lose the ability to use the US dollar.

Pressing on what he referred to as “small infiltration”, Biden said that Putin was doing exactly what NATO allies did not unite, that there were “differences” between them and that he was trying to ensure that “everyone is there”. Same page. “

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“The big nations can not be fooled by number one. Number two, the idea that we will do anything to split NATO … would be a big mistake. So the question is, is it a significant invasion or … That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. “

Biden said Putin had assured him of two things: that Ukraine would never join NATO and that “strategic” or nuclear weapons would never be stopped on Ukrainian soil.

U.S. officials see NATO expansion as a non-initiation, but Biden noted that Ukraine’s chances of joining the coalition soon are low, and that there may be an agreement that Western nations will not maintain nuclear forces in Ukraine.

“We can work on something in the second half,” Biden said of Russia’s own attitude.

US Secretary of State visits Kiev to express support Anthony Blink In a “very short notice” Russia said it could launch a new offensive against Ukraine, but Washington would pursue diplomacy as best it could, not sure what Moscow really wanted.

The Kremlin said tensions around Ukraine were mounting and that it was still waiting for a written US response to its broader demands for Western security guarantees, including halting NATO expansion and the withdrawal of coalition forces from allied Central and Eastern European countries. 1997.

Ahead of talks between Blingen and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday, reports of a US-Russia rift show that “the last stop before the train crash” was a Russian foreign policy analyst.

Russia has moved troops from the north, east and south to Belarus for so-called joint military exercises, giving it the option of attacking neighboring Ukraine. read more

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It supported the separatist forces that occupied Crimea eight years ago and took control of much of eastern Ukraine, but now continues to deny any intent to invade.

The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov blamed Western arms supplies to Ukraine, military maneuvers and NATO airstrikes for increasing tensions around Ukraine.

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Report by Alexandra Albert and Steve Holland in Washington and Simon Lewis in Kiev; Reported by Matthias Williams, Pavel Polytech and Natalia Synets in Kiev, Tom Palmford and Dmitry Antonov in Moscow, Benoit von Overstretten, Miriam Rivet and Donkey Salmon in Paris, Susan Heavy, Daphne Saladhkim, Tim, Timmons in Washington; Written by Mark Travelian and Arshad Mohammed; Editing Howard Goller

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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