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Joe Biden: ‘We are prepared to respond to a Russian attack on Ukraine, which remains a possibility’

The President of the United States, Joe Biden, urged Vladimir Putin to start a de-escalation and opt for the diplomatic route to resolve the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Although he also warned: “We are prepared to respond to a Russian attack on Ukrainewhich is still a possibility.

We embark on a non-stop diplomacyto. This weekend I spoke with Putin to clarify that we are ready for high-level diplomacy to reach understandings between Russia, the United States and the nations of Europe on security issues, their concerns and ours,” Biden said.

He added: “Yesterday Russia proposed to continue diplomacy. I agree. We must give diplomacy a chance to succeed“.

On the background of the conflict, Biden stated: “We will not sacrifice basic principles. Nations have a right to sovereignty and territorial integrity. They have the freedom to set their own courses and choose who to partner with. That still leaves plenty of room for diplomacy. It is the best path for all parties, according to our point of view.”

The US president spoke from the White House, in the midst of multiple communications from international leaders to curb tension at the border.

After assuring that his country is betting on diplomatic channels, he sent a message to Russian citizens. “The US is not a threat to Russia. Ukraine is not threatening Russia either. Neither the US nor NATO have missiles in Ukraine. We are not targeting the population of Russia, we are not seeking to destabilize Russia. From Russia: you are not our enemies. And I don’t think you (citizens of Russia) want a bloody war with Ukraine,” she remarked.

Joe Biden, this Tuesday, in his speech from the White House. AFP photo

The US president warned about the consequences of a warlike conflict. “If Russia invades in the days to come, the human cost will be immense. And it will be immense for Russia as well. If Russia invades Ukraine, the entire international community will condemn it. The world will not forget that Russia chose unnecessary death and destruction. Invading Ukraine will be like causing an injury to yourself,” he said.

This Tuesday, Putin assured that Russia does not seek a war with Ukraine and that, for this reason, it promotes negotiations in diplomatic organizations.

Where are the Russian troops located?

“Do we want it (a war) or not? Of course not. That’s why we put forward our proposals for a negotiation process,” he told a news conference alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

However, the Russian president did not hide his disagreement with the rejection of the United States and NATO to the proposal to keep Ukraine and other ex-Soviet countries outside the North Atlantic Treaty.

Putin’s statement came after his country’s Defense Ministry announce the partial withdrawal of troops from the border area with Ukraine, after carrying out military exercises. In any case, there were no details on the magnitude and location of the personnel and equipment withdrawn.

After the statement from the Kremlin, Biden had a conversation with the French Emmanuel Macron. They agreed that the partial military withdrawal is an encouraging sign, but urged caution.

Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron agreed on their caution after the Russia announcements.  AFP photo

Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron agreed on their caution after the Russia announcements. AFP photo

It is necessary to “take note of these measures”, “evaluate the quality of that announcement” and “verify its scope and meaning”, they indicated from Paris.

In addition, they stressed that the Russian president’s intentions must be verified. “A lot can still happen”they said from the French government, which calls for more vigilance and a commitment to diplomacy.

In this regard, they pointed out that, despite the fact that there are images of the withdrawal, Russia continues to carry out “extensive air, naval and land maneuvers”, for which the Russian operations “have not ended”.

We have not verified that Russian military units have returned to their bases. In fact, our analyzes show that there are many still in threatening positions,” Biden warned on Tuesday.

The US president warned that armed conflict remains a latent possibility. “Now Russia has more than 150 thousand troops around Ukraine and Belarus. The possibility of an invasion remains firm. That’s why we’re telling Americans in Ukraine to leave now, before it’s too late,” she said.

In the series of talks with Moscow, both Macron and Biden had already outlined their position against an eventual invasion of Ukraine.

On Saturday, after a telephone conversation that lasted more than an hour, the American warned that Russia “will cause widespread human suffering” if the military advance is made. But Putin responded with accusations of manipulation of information to sow “hysteria” in the West.

For his part, Macron expanded further in the conversation with his Russian counterpart. They were 100 minutes in which the French stressed that “a sincere dialogue was not compatible with a military escalation”, according to sources from the Elysée Palace.

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International concern skyrocketed with the mobilization of more than 130,000 Russian soldiers near Ukraine. They were located in the north, south and east of Ukraine. In addition, large military maneuvers began in the border area.

Although Moscow denied having plans to invade the neighboring country, the tension put on alert international organizations and the main powers of the world.

The United States and other NATO allies have flown troops and military supplies to Ukraine’s western flank, promising more economic aid to the former Soviet country. In addition, they discouraged their citizens from staying on Ukrainian soil.

Vladimir Putin said he does not want a war with Ukraine, despite the military mobilization in recent weeks.  Reuters Photo

Vladimir Putin said he does not want a war with Ukraine, despite the military mobilization in recent weeks. Reuters Photo

Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, maintained that the military exercises were carried out on Russian territory according to the plans provided by the Kremlin.

And he stressed that the plans are fulfilled, regardless of “who thinks what and who becomes hysterical because of it, who is carrying out authentic information terrorism.”

Biden and Macron are not the only ones carefully following the alleged Russian withdrawal. In the same vein they demonstrated from Ukraine.

“We do not believe what we hear, we will believe it when we see it. When we see the withdrawal of troops, we will believe in the de-escalation,” said Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

With information from AFP, AP and EFE

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