Washington : US President Joe Biden on Wednesday (local time) warned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin of “severe consequences” if he invades Ukraine.
Biden told reporters on the White House South Lawn that he was very straightforward and did not mince words regarding Ukraine.
“It was polite, but I made it very clear: If, in fact, he invades Ukraine, there will be severe consequences — severe consequences — and economic consequences like none he’s ever seen or ever have been seen, in terms of being imposed,” said Biden.
Further, when reporters asked whether he is confident that Putin got the message and knows this is different as he has known him for years, he said, “I am absolutely confident he got the message.”
“He knows. His immediate response was he understood that. And I indicated that I knew he would respond,” added Biden.
Meanwhile, the US President also said that he would provide the defensive capability to the Ukrainians as well and stressed the presence in NATO countries to reassure defensive capabilities on the eastern front.
“The good news is — the good news — the positive news is that, thus far, our teams have been in constant contact. We hope by Friday we’re going to be able to say and announce to you that we’re having meetings at a higher level, not just with us but with at least four of our major NATO Allies and Russia to discuss the future of Russia’s concerns relative to NATO writ large and whether or not we can work out any accommodations as it relates to bringing down the temperature along the eastern front,” added Biden.
Regarding the question on putting US troops on the ground in Ukraine, he said that sending US troops to confront Russia was “not on the table” and “would depend upon what the rest of the NATO countries are willing to do”.
“We have a moral obligation and a legal obligation to our NATO Allies if they were to attack under Article Five. It’s a sacred obligation. That obligation does not extend to NATO — I mean, to Ukraine. But it would depend upon what the rest of the NATO countries are willing to do as well,” said the US President.
On Tuesday, the Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin conveyed to Biden that NATO was making dangerous attempts to conquer Ukrainian territory and was building up its military potential near Russia’s border.