President Joe Biden reiterated, clarified and updated the U.S. position and posture on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which he denounced as a “unilateral attack without provocation” based on “false claims” that Ukraine had started the conflict.
In a televised news conference Thursday afternoon, Biden said Russia had taken “military action against a made-up threat.”
“Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose the war … (after) rejecting every effort at compromise,” Biden said.
The coalition the United States has assembled, from countries using “dollars, Euros, pounds and yen,” includes “specific freezes on the assets of Russian oligarchs,” irrespective of the currencies in which those assets are held. Other sanctions are applied to Russia’s largest industries and companies.
“This aggression cannot go unanswered … America stands up to bullies,” Biden said. “This is who we are.”
The United States military forces “will not go to Europe to fight in Ukraine,” which is not a member of NATO, Biden said. But additional forces will be deployed to NATO member nations such as Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Romania, all of which are former Soviet republics or Soviet bloc allies of Russia.
“Now, the entire world sees clearly what Putin and his allies are really all about,” which is to reassemble the sprawling Soviet Empire of Cold War days, Biden said.
Asked whether this action could lead to a complete rupture of relations between the United States and Russia, he replied, “There is a complete rupture in U.S.-Russia relations right now.”