Biden To Punish Russia If Putin's Forces Invade Ukraine
President Joe Biden conferred on Sunday with Ukraine’s leader over the Russian troop buildup near Ukraine’s border, promising that the US and allies will act “decisively” if Russia invades Ukraine, Aamer Madhani and Yuras Karmanau reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Photo Insert: US President Joe Biden during his most recent call with Russian President Vladimir Putin
Biden and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s call came as the US and Western allies prepared for a series of diplomatic meetings to try to de-escalate a crisis that Moscow said could rupture ties with Washington.
“President Biden made clear that the United States and its allies and partners will respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement following the call.
Psaki added that Biden underscored his commitment to the principle of “nothing about you without you,” which means Biden won’t negotiate policy that impacts Europe without its allies’ input.
Biden has spoken of hitting Russia with economy-jarring sanctions if it moves on Ukraine’s territory, but he said last month that US military action is not on the table. The Kremlin has demanded that any further expansion of NATO exclude Ukraine and other former Soviet countries.
The Russians have also demanded that the military alliance remove offensive weaponry from countries in the region. The White House has dismissed Russia’s demands on NATO as a non-starter.
A key principle of the NATO alliance is that membership is open to any qualifying country. And no outsider has membership veto power. While there’s little prospect that Ukraine would be invited into the alliance anytime soon, the US and its allies won’t rule it out.