Biden Warns Putin: You'll Pay Dear Price For Ukraine Invasion
President Joe Biden said Wednesday (Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, in Manila) 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.
Photo Insert: Biden later clarified that he was referring to a non-military action, such as a cyberattack, that would be met with a similar reciprocal response, and that if Russian forces cross the Ukrainian border, killing Ukrainian fighters, “that changes everything.”
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 but it would be a disaster for Putin.
He later sought to clarify that he was referring to a non-military action, such as a cyberattack, that would be met with a similar reciprocal response, and that if Russian forces cross the Ukrainian border, killing Ukrainian fighters, “that changes everything.” The US has also vowed to cut off Russia from the global banking system if it invades Ukraine.
But the comments also hinted at the challenge of keeping the US 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 NATO on the same page.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva on Friday. On Wednesday, Blinken met with Ukraine’s president in Kyiv and he heads to Berlin on Thursday for talks with allies, Aamer Madhani and Matthew Lee reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Clarifying Biden’s statement, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said: "If 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."
The Russians "have an extensive playbook of aggression short of military action, including cyberattacks and paramilitary tactics," Paul Handley of the Agence France-Presse (AFP) quoted Psaki. Biden warns of 'disaster for Russia' if they invade Ukraine.