Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Biden sees Russia moving on Ukraine, sows doubt on Western response

World Jan 20, 2022 12:47AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
3/3 © Reuters. Secretary of State of U.S. Antony Blinken speaks as he greets embassy staff at the U.S. embassy, in Kyiv, Ukraine, January 19, 2022. Alex Brandon/Pool via REUTERS 2/3

By Alexandra Alper, Steve Holland and Simon Lewis

WASHINGTON/KYIV (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden predicted on Wednesday that Russia will make a move on Ukraine, saying Russia would pay dearly for a full-scale invasion but suggesting there could be a lower cost for a "minor incursion."

Biden's comments at a White House news conference injected uncertainty into how the West would respond should Russian President Vladimir Putin order an invasion of Ukraine, prompting the White House later to seek to clarify what Biden meant.

"My guess is he will move in," Biden said of Putin at a news conference. "He has to do something."

"Russia will be held accountable if it invades - and it depends on what it does. It's one thing if it's a minor incursion and we end up having to fight about what to do and what to not do, et cetera," Biden said. "But if they actually do what they're capable of doing ... it is going to be a disaster for Russia if they further invade Ukraine."

Russian officials have repeatedly denied planning to invade, but the Kremlin has massed some 100,000 troops near Ukraine's borders, a buildup the West says is preparation for a war to prevent Ukraine from ever joining the NATO Western security alliance.

Shortly after the nearly two-hour news conference ended, the White House stressed any Russian military move into Ukraine would elicit a tough response.

"If any 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," said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

But cyberattacks and paramilitary tactics by Russia "will be met with "a decisive, reciprocal, and united response," she said.

Republicans expressed concern about Biden's remarks.

"Any incursion by the Russian military into Ukraine should be viewed as a major incursion because it will destabilize Ukraine and freedom-loving countries in Eastern Europe," said Republican Senator Rob Portman.

SUMMIT 'A POSSIBILITY'

Biden said a third summit with Putin "is still a possibility" after the two leaders met twice last year. He said he was concerned that a Ukraine conflict could have broader implications and "could get out of hand."

Speaking to reporters at length about the crisis threatening to engulf his presidency, Biden said he believed Putin would test Western leaders. The response to any Russian invasion, he said, would depend on the scale of Moscow's actions and whether U.S. allies squabbled over how to react.

Biden and his team have prepared a broad set of sanctions and other economic penalties to impose on Russia in the event of an invasion and the U.S. president said Russian companies could lose the ability to use the U.S. dollar.

Pressed on what he meant by a "minor incursion," Biden said NATO allies are not united on how to respond depending on what exactly Putin does, saying "there are differences" among them and that he was trying to make sure that "everybody's on the same page."

"Big nations can't bluff, number one. Number two, the idea that we would do anything to split NATO ... would be a big mistake. So the question is, if it's something significantly short of a significant invasion or ... just major military forces coming across. For example, it's one thing to determine if they continue to use cyber efforts; well, we can respond the same way," Biden said.

Biden said Putin had asked him for guarantees on two issues: that Ukraine would never join NATO and that "strategic" or nuclear weapons never be stationed on Ukrainian soil.

U.S. officials see limiting NATO expansion as a non-starter, but Biden noted there was little chance of Ukraine joining the alliance soon and he suggested there could be a deal under which the West might not station nuclear forces in Ukraine.

"We can work out something on the second piece," depending on Russia's own posture, Biden said.

Visiting Kyiv in a show of support, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Russia could launch a new attack on Ukraine at "very short notice" but Washington would pursue diplomacy as long as it could, even though it was unsure what Moscow really wanted.

The Kremlin said tension around Ukraine was increasing and it still awaited a written U.S. response to its sweeping demands for security guarantees from the West, including a halt to further NATO expansion and a withdrawal of alliance forces from central and eastern European nations that joined it after 1997.

The pessimistic statements highlighted the U.S.-Russian gulf ahead of talks between Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday that one Russian foreign policy analyst called "probably the last stop before the train wreck."

Russia has also moved troops to Belarus for what it calls joint military exercises, giving it the option of attacking neighboring Ukraine from the north, east and south.

Eight years ago it seized Crimea and backed separatist forces who took control of large parts of eastern Ukraine, but it has consistently denied any intention of invading now.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Western weapons deliveries to Ukraine, military maneuvers and NATO aircraft flights were to blame for rising tensions around Ukraine.

Biden sees Russia moving on Ukraine, sows doubt on Western response
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
Honey Badger
Honey Badger Jan 19, 2022 9:44PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
If Russia deploy weapons in Mexico or any country close to you how you will react ?
Oleksii Trugov
Oleksii Trugov Jan 19, 2022 9:44PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
The US started deploying weapons in Ukraine AFTER Russia occupied Crimea - and AFTER Ukraine asked for help from EU and US. Do you see the US waging war against Mexico? Do you see Mexico asking for help from Russia?
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email