Biden clarifies stance on a Russian incursion in Ukraine: ‘Russia will pay a heavy price’ if units move across Ukrainian border | The Blog 101

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“I’ve been absolutely clear with President Putin. He has no misunderstanding. If any — any — assembled Russian units move across Ukrainian border, that is an invasion. But it will be met with severe and coordinated economic response that I’ve discussed in detail with our allies, as well as laid out very clearly for President Putin,” Biden stated on the prime of an occasion geared toward selling the bipartisan infrastructure package deal handed final 12 months.

Throughout the information convention Wednesday, the President predicted Putin would “move in” to Ukraine — although he speculated that the Russian chief continues to be not clear on what he will do. In a remark that despatched shockwaves throughout Europe, Biden then alluded to disunity amongst US allies about how to answer something lower than a full invasion.

“It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and we end up having to fight about what to do and not do,” Biden advised reporters at an East Room information convention. “But if they actually do what they’re capable of doing with the forces amassed on the border, it is going to be a disaster for Russia if they further invade Ukraine.”

Later, requested to make clear what he meant by “minor incursion,” Biden stated he drew the road at “Russian forces crossing the border, killing Ukrainian fighters.”

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“I think that changes everything,” the President stated. “But it depends on what he does, to what extent we’ll get total unity on the NATO front.”

“It’s very important that we keep everyone in NATO on the same page. That’s what I’m spending a lot of time doing, and there are differences,” he went on. “There are differences in NATO as to what countries are willing to do, depending on what happens.”

The remarks prompted near-immediate outcry in Kyiv, the place officers had been assembly with Biden’s prime diplomat, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as Russian troops amass on the nation’s border. Excessive-level makes an attempt to wash up the remark quickly adopted on the White Home, together with a Wednesday night assertion from press secretary Jen Psaki, and subsequent media appearances by Psaki and Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday morning.

In a refined however strongly worded tweet Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky issued a “reminder” to the US.

“We want to remind the great powers that there are no minor incursions and small nations. Just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones. I say this as the President of a great power,” Zelensky stated.

And his overseas minister, Dmytro Kuleba, warned in a digital press briefing {that a} nation “can’t be half invaded.”

“One can’t be half invaded or half aggressive. Aggression is either there or not. And we can say as a concrete fact that the aggression of the Russian Federation against the state of Ukraine has been going on since 2014,” Kuleba stated.

As he sought to wash up his earlier remarks, Biden famous that Russia has a “long history” of utilizing measures aside from overt army motion to hold out aggression, together with paramilitary techniques, so-called grey zone assaults, assaults by Russian troopers not in uniform, little inexperienced males and cyberattacks.

“We have to be ready to respond to these as well and decisively,” Biden stated, echoing feedback made late Wednesday and earlier Thursday by Psaki and Harris.

He famous that Kuleba stated Thursday that he’s “confident of our support and resolve and he has a right to be.”

This story has been up to date with further reporting.

CNN’s Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

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