Berlin / Kiev — US and Western nations against Ukraine on Thursday after US President Joe Biden proposed splitting allies on how to respond to potential “minor invasions” from Russia. I tried to project unity and a strict attitude.
Biden responded to comments at a press conference on Wednesday, saying on Thursday: If so, the assembled Russian unit will move across the invading Ukrainian border. “
President Biden told reporters that such an aggression would be met by “a serious and collaborative response, an economic response, in detail with allies, as very clearly shown with Putin.” I said it would be.
When the White House tried to scotch a proposal that a small Russian military invasion would respond to the weak reaction of the United States, his remarks were made by members of other governments early Thursday and late Wednesday. Reflected the effort.
Russia has gathered tens of thousands of troops on its border with Ukraine, and Western nations are afraid that Moscow is planning a new attack on the invaded country in 2014. Russia has denied planning an attack, but the list of requests has not been met, including a promise from NATO that it will not recognize Ukraine as a member.
Biden said at a press conference Wednesday that he hopes Putin will take some action, and that Washington and its allies may disagree on how to respond if Moscow refrains from a major invasion. Seems to suggest.
“If it’s a minor invasion and you have to fight what to do, what not to do, etc., that’s one thing,” the president said, and the invasion would be a “disaster” for Russia. I added that.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded sharply on Thursday, writing on Twitter in English and Ukrainian:
“We want to remind the great powers that there are no small aggressions or small nations, just as there are no minor casualties or sorrows from the loss of a loved one.”
Biden’s remarks on Wednesday quickly put his administration and allies into damage control mode, with an emphasis on unity.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a press conference with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock when she visited Berlin to meet with ministers: “No matter which way Russia chooses, the United States, Germany, and us. Allies will unite. ” From England, France and Germany.
“We urgently urge Russia to take steps towards escalation. Further aggressive actions and attacks will have serious consequences,” Baerbock said in a press conference.
No green light for aggression
NATO Secretary-General Jason Stoltenberg said Biden’s “minor invasion” comment was not a green light for Russia’s possible invasion of Ukraine.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “
Moscow, as part of it, said the US threat of sanctions has not calmed the situation.
Some officials have personally complained about Biden’s remarks on Wednesday as Western nations have long emphasized their position of unity in public, but said they are unlikely to change Moscow’s calculations. ..
“It didn’t help, in fact it was a gift to Putin, but we shouldn’t read it too much. Biden hasn’t given Moscow a green light of an attack on Ukraine. It’s a slip on his tongue. , The official Western position will win, “said one Western security source.
At a meeting last week, Moscow presented the West with a list of security demands that did not make a breakthrough.
Since the Russian troops occupied and annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, Western nations have repeatedly imposed economic sanctions.
However, such moves have had little impact on Russia’s policies, and Moscow, Europe’s major energy supplier, has calculated that the West cannot take serious steps to impede gas exports. There is.
US and European officials say there are strong fiscal measures that have yet to be attempted. Germany has suggested that if Moscow invades, it could shut down Nord Stream 2, a new gas pipeline from Russia that surrounds Ukraine.
But if Russia invades Ukraine and forces Berlin’s major gas suppliers to fight its most important security ally, Germany could fall into a win-win situation.
Meanwhile, Turkish diplomatic sources said Thursday that both Russia and Ukraine were open to the idea that Turkey would play a role in relieving tensions between the two countries, as proposed by Ankara in November.
By Sabine Siebold and Pavel Polityuk