President Biden says Russia will have “a high price to pay” if it invades Ukraine

Democratic President Joe Biden has said that Russia will have “a high price to pay” if it invades Ukraine.

“I made it clear to President Putin that if he takes more steps and enters Ukraine, we will have severe sanctions. We will increase our presence in Europe with our NATO allies, and it will have to be a high price to pay for it, “Biden told reporters Friday.

Biden made his comment after journalists asked about it his Thursday phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin. During the 50-minute call, the two presidents mostly discussed de-escalation in Ukraine and the diplomatic relations between the United States and Russia heading into European negotiations, which will begin in mid-January.

Biden Russia high prices invade Ukraine Putin
US President Joe Biden has said that Russia will have “a high price to pay” if it invades Ukraine. In this photo, Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a US-Russia summit at Villa La Grange in Geneva on June 16, 2021.
Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty

Tens of thousands of Russian troops have gathered at the Ukrainian border, raising concerns among the United States and its allies about a possible invasion. Russia has said it has built up its military to prevent NATO expansion towards its borders and to defend Russian ethnic citizens living in the war-torn eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas.

More than 13,000 lives have been lost in the Donbas region since Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Russia-backed separatists have fought in the region, although the Russian government has officially denied any involvement. Ukraine has accused Russia of trying to destabilize and claim the region.

Kremlin foreign policy adviser Yury Ushakov has denied the allegations. Instead, he said Russia wanted a speedy end to the conflict and did not want to get caught up in “endless discussions” with the US government about the best way to protect the Russians in the Donbas.

To counter a Russian invasion, officials in the Biden administration have spoken to leaders across Europe, Emily Horne, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council (NSC), said Wednesday.

Administration officials have spoken to officials within European Union, The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) with 57 members and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). NATO is a multinational force seeking to limit the military influence of Russia and other countries in Europe.

Together, “the groups consult and coordinate a common approach in response to Russia’s military build-up on the border with Ukraine,” Horne said.

Biden prefers a diplomatic route to de-escalate regional tensions, but will offer support to Ukrainian troops and possibly pursue sanctions against Russia if an invasion takes place.

Yuri Ushakov, Putin’s foreign adviser, said any US action against Russia would potentially break diplomatic ties between the two nations, the Associated Press reported.

Russia has pushed back against efforts to grant NATO membership to Ukraine and other Eastern European countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union. Russia has also expressed a desire for the United States and allied countries to remove or reduce any military support for Ukraine.

However, it seems unlikely.

On Wednesday, the US Secretary of State said Antony Blink called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky by phone. After the call, Zelensky said the United States had promised his “full” support against “Russian aggression”.

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