According to the US president, Putin “has never seen sanctions like those that” will be imposed in the event of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.
US President Joseph Biden has warned that Russia will pay a “high price” if it goes on a military invasion of Ukraine. The corresponding statement was made by the American leader on Wednesday, January 19, at the White House at a press conference dedicated to the anniversary of his inauguration.
“Russia will be held accountable in the event of an invasion,” and the scale of the response depends on what “it will do”, Biden stressed. “It’s one thing if it’s a minor intervention, and we eventually have to argue about what to do and what not to do,” he said. “However, if they (the Russian side. - Ed.) really do what they are capable of... It will be a disaster for Russia if they continue to invade Ukraine,” the American leader warned. Such actions by Moscow will be “the most significant global event in its consequences” since the Second World War, he said.
“Russian banks will not be able to carry out transactions with dollars”
According to the head of the White House, Russian President Vladimir Putin "has never seen sanctions like those that" will be imposed if he takes this step.
Joseph Biden warned that it would be about “severe economic consequences.” “Their (Russian - Ed.) banks will not be able to carry out transactions with dollars,” he said.
The American leader added that the answer will follow even if Moscow “continues to use” its cyber capabilities. At the same time, answering a follow-up question from journalists, Biden admitted that there is no consensus among NATO allies on how to react if there is “minor interference” from the Kremlin. In this regard, there are “disagreements” between the partners, the head of the US administration stated.
Biden did not rule out the possibility of another summit with Putin
Speaking about his personal perception of what Vladimir Putin’s next steps might be, Biden noted: “I’m not sure he knows exactly what he’s going to do.” “He has to do something,” the American leader suggested, adding that in the situation with the president of the Russian Federation, a specific decision may depend even on “which half of the bed” he wakes up on.
Commenting on Washington’s diplomatic efforts, the head of the American state admitted that he was not completely sure that Russian officials, with whom senior White House advisers were negotiating, were fully informed about Putin’s plans. “The question is, whether those with whom they’re (American officials. - Ed.) talking to know about what he's going to do,” Biden said.
At the same time, the head of the administration added that there is a possibility of holding another summit with the President of the Russian Federation to defuse tensions. Putin’s first meeting with Biden took place on June 16, 2021 in Geneva. Later, on December 7 last year, a video summit of the two leaders took place.
Non-deployment of strategic weapons in Ukraine
Speaking at the White House, Biden admitted the possibility of reaching certain agreements with Moscow on the issue of non-deployment of strategic weapons in Ukraine. According to the US president, Putin told him that he expects two things: confirmation that Kyiv will never become a member of NATO, and also that strategic weapons will not be deployed in Ukraine. “We can come to something on the second point,” the American leader suggested, adding that Washington would expect retaliatory steps from Moscow “in the European part of Russia”.
“Probability of Ukraine joining NATO is not too high”
The probability of Ukraine joining NATO in the short term is low, since not all the requirements for joining the alliance have been met by Kyiv, Joseph Biden noted. “The probability that Ukraine will join NATO in the near future is not too high, given that they have a lot more work to do” on democracy issues, the American leader added. He also stressed that Washington’s allies should also be ready to receive Kyiv.
White House: Any crossing of the border of Ukraine by Russian troops will be considered an invasion
Against the backdrop of the US President’s speech, a written statement on Ukraine was also published by White House Press Secretary Jennifer Psaki. According to her, Washington will consider any crossing of the Ukrainian border by Russian troops to be a “new invasion” of the Russian Federation into Ukraine. This will be followed by a “quick, tough and unified response” by the United States and its allies, Psaki warned. She also added that Russian aggression that does not cross the line of military action, including cyber-attacks and paramilitary steps, will also be met with a “strong, mutual and united response” from Washington and its partners.
Earlier, on January 19, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken visited Kyiv and held talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba. The West calls on the Russian Federation to withdraw troops from the Ukrainian border and threatens large-scale sanctions in the event of a possible invasion. In turn, Moscow denies preparing for a new invasion and demands that the United States and NATO provide “security guarantees”, insisting on reducing American troops and weapons in Europe and refusing to further expand NATO to the east.