Washington — The White House announces President Joe Biden showed Russian President Vladimir Putin last Tuesday how the U.S. government is ready to implement decisive economic actions if Russia invades Ukraine — indicating that those specific actions would deal a heavier blow than the sanctions declared in 2014 that did not stop Russia from seizing Crimea.
“As the President stared Putin in the eye and told him today, I, too, will look you in the eye and say the actions we failed to take in 2014 are ready to be used now,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan stated to journalists Tuesday following Biden’s talk with Putin.
During the past handful of months, Russia has established supply lines, such as fuel and medical units, which might support a drawn-out fight if Moscow chooses to attack Ukraine, per experts close to the situation in eastern Europe. Current U.S. intelligence conclusions suspect Russia might launch a military invasion on Ukraine within a few months as the country amassed up to 175,000 soldiers at the border. Yet, Sullivan stated that the administration believes Putin has not chosen to begin a military attack into Ukraine.
Sullivan refrained from going into details but attached that the U.S. speaks with European allies “at a profound point of specificity.”
He stated Biden was straightforward and candid with President Putin, as [Biden] “always is,” next saying that “both sides had lots of give and take. Neither person scolded the other, but Biden was very explicit regarding where the United States holds on each of the points.”
Simultaneously with the economic consequences discussed on the call, Sullivan stated Biden conveyed that the U.S. is ready to support defense capacities in the area.
“[Biden] reemphasized America’s backing for Ukraine’s independence and national integrity. Furthermore, he told President Putin immediately that if Russia further attacks Ukraine, the United States, and our European allies will counter with robust economic steps,” Sullivan declared.
The other choice, Sullivan replied, is diplomacy and de-escalation.
The two leaders delegated their separate teams to follow up on the talks, and the U.S. will organize with allies and partners.