Biden addresses rising tensions in Ukraine

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Russia stages tens of thousands of troops along the Ukrainian border, President Joe Biden is receiving criticism for seeming to cast doubt on the Western commitment to Ukraine in comments at his press conference Wednesday.

Biden said, “It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and then we end up having a fight about what to do and not do, etcetera.”

Critics are calling it an invitation for Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine. The president Thursday morning sought to clarify his stance.

“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.”

The U.S. said Russian cyberattacks and paramilitary tactics will be met with a reciprocal response. It comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged his country not to panic over fears of a Russian invasion. He said, “Everyone needs to exhale. Calm down. Don’t run for emergency supplies like buckwheat and matches.”

Ukraine insists that Russia is seeking to destabilize the country. But Russia sees the growing support for Ukraine from NATO — in terms of weaponry, training, and personnel — as a threat to its own security.

President of the Council on Foreign Relations Richard Haas stated, “Every country in the world, friend and foe alike is gonna watch what’s going on to see what lessons they can derive about American willingness and ability to stand up to aggression.”

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