Tensions are growing between the United States and Russia as President Joe Biden threatens to take strong economic measures if Russia invades Ukraine.
On Tuesday, Biden spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Following this, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters that the commander-in-chief was taking a firm stance against the invasion of Ukraine, threatening repercussions.
“I will look you in the eye and tell you, as President Biden looked Putin in the eye and told him today, that things we did not do in 2014 we are prepared to do now.”
This is in reference to when Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, where the U.S. make a similar threat. This implies that the response would be more severe this time, compared to back then.
All of this is in response to several actions that Russia has been taking in the past months. This includes new supply lines, medical unites, and fuel depots. Approximately 175,000 troops have also been stationed around the border. All of this puts Russia in a prime “about to invade” state.
In response, the U.S. has also issued a plan to strengthen defensive capabilities in the region.
“He reiterated America’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. He told President Putin directly that if Russia further invades Ukraine, the United States and our European allies would respond with strong economic measures. We would provide additional defensive material to the Ukrainians above and beyond that which we are already providing, and we would fortify our NATO allies on the eastern flank with additional capabilities in response to such an escalation.”
The reported response, however, seems dismissive. Putin claims that these efforts are simply a response to NATO presence.
“Vladimir Putin stressed that the responsibility should not be shifted onto the shoulders of Russia, since it is NATO that is making dangerous attempts to conquer Ukrainian territory and is building up its military potential at our borders. Therefore, Russia is seriously interested in obtaining reliable, legally fixed guarantees excluding the expansion of NATO in the eastern direction and the deployment of offensive strike weapons systems in the states adjacent to Russia.”
When questioned regarding an invasion, Putin’s aide claimed the idea was not even a possibility.
“There was not even such a discussion. What do you mean to bring in troops, what is it — an invasion, or what? This was out of the question.”
With Russia’s involvement in media manipulation in the United States, especially during recent presidential elections. It can be hard to trust what they say. We could easily imagine this situation becoming an invasion, with the justification that they were simply doing it before someone else could. And to be frank, if anyone’s going to start invading places, Russia is the least surprising one to hear.