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Biden warns US will respond forcefully if Russia targets Americans in Ukraine

Biden says reports that some Russian forces have moved away from the Ukraine border have not yet been verified by the US



US President Joe Biden. —  AP
US President Joe Biden. — AP

By Agencies

Published: Wed 16 Feb 2022, 1:04 AM

Last updated: Wed 16 Feb 2022, 1:12 AM

US President Joe Biden warned on Tuesday that if Russia targeted Americans in Ukraine the US will respond forcefully.

"We are not seeking direct confrontation with Russia. Though I've been clear that if Russia targets Americans in Ukraine, we will respond forcefully."

He said a Russian attack on Ukraine remains a possibility and reports that some Russian forces have moved away from the Ukraine border have not yet been verified by the US.

The US president urged Russia to step back from the brink of war and said reports that Russia has withdrawn some forces from the Ukraine border have not been verified.

“We are ready to respond decisively to a Russian attack on Ukraine, which remains very much a possibility,” Biden said in nationally televised remarks.

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“To the citizens of Russia: you are not our enemy, and I don’t believe you want a bloody, destructive war against Ukraine,” Biden said in nationally televised remarks from the White House.

Biden said the United States and its NATO allies are prepared for whatever happens and that Russia will pay a steep economic price if Moscow launches an invasion.

“We are ready to respond decisively to a Russian attack on Ukraine, which remains very much a possibility.”

Biden made the remarks at the White House hours after Russia announced that some units participating in military exercises near Ukraine’s borders would begin returning to their bases. Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier on Tuesday said Russia was ready for talks with the United States and NATO on military transparency, missile deployment limits and other security issues.

He acknowledged the likelihood that US and allied sanctions on Russia in retaliation for an invasion of Ukraine would have significant blowback on the American economy, including possible price hikes and disruption to the nation’s energy supply.

“The American people understand that defending democracy and liberty is never without cost,” Biden said in remarks at the White House about the ongoing crisis. “I will not pretend this will be painless.”

He said the administration was working proactively to try to preempt supply issues by working with energy producers and shippers on contingency plans, and said he would work with Congress on unspecified “additional measures to protect consumers and address the impact of prices at the pump.”

But Biden continued to express skepticism about Russia’s intentions. Biden warned again that if Russia invades Ukraine the US “will rally the world to oppose its aggression”. He added Sanctions on Russia ‘ready to go’ if it invaded Ukraine.


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