The White House on Wednesday clarified that President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will not tolerate any Russian aggression toward Ukraine, moments after the president seemed to suggest that a minor incursion would not trigger immediate U.S. actions.
“President Biden has been clear with the Russian President: 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,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. “President Biden also knows from long experience that the Russians have an extensive playbook of aggression short of military action, including cyberattacks and paramilitary tactics. And he affirmed today that those acts of Russian aggression will be met with a decisive, reciprocal, and united response.”
The comments triggered shock in Ukraine, with an official saying said they were shocked that President Biden would give “green light to Putin” for Russian incursion.