President Joe Biden addressed reporters and the nation on Tuesday to explain the “situation on the ground” in Ukraine, the “steps” the US is willing to take in any potential conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Biden said that diplomacy would be ongoing.
Biden said that the “best way forward for all parties” is diplomacy and deescalation. This as “some military units are leaving their position near Ukraine,” Biden said, noting that the US does not have confirmation of this action.
More than 150,000 Russian troops, Biden said, are on the Ukraine Russian border. “Invasion remains distinctly possible,” he said, reiterating his ask for all Americans in Ukraine to leave. The US Embassy has also been moved to the western side of the country, near the Polish border.
“The United States and NATO are not a threat to Russia, Ukraine is not a threat to Russia,” he said. He said that an invasion “would prove to be a self-inflicted wound,” he said.
After stating that the west is “unified” by their “democratic principles,” he said that sanctions would be heavy and swift “if Russia moves,” and would be enacted by western nations in a unified way.
The Nordstream 2 Pipeline, he said, “will not happen” if Russia invades Ukraine. That said, the US, he said, would not be sending troops to help Ukraine. Instead, the US sent arms and advice.
“An attack against one NATO country is an attack against all of us,” he said. The US would defend every inch of NATO territory, Biden said, in the event that Russia spills over into NATO areas.
“If Russia decides to invade, that would also have consequences here at home. The American people understand that defending democracy and liberty is never without cost,” Biden said.
“I won’t pretend this will be painless, there could be an impact on our energy prices,” Biden said. “So we are taking active steps to alleviate the pressure on our own energy markets and offset raising prices, are coordinating with major energy, energy consumers, and producers, and are prepared to employ all the tools and authority at our disposal to provide relief at the gas pump.”
He said that if “Russia targets Americans in Ukraine, we will respond forcefully,” though he did not say how.
He pressed for diplomacy, did not take questions, and left the room as reporters demanded answers.
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