The president called Putin’s latest incursion the “beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.”
“None of us will be fooled,” the president added, not so subtly alluding to Putin’s false claims that nearly four million ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine have been subjected to genocide.
Many believe these claims could be used as a pretext for further escalation. In his remarks from the East Room of the White House, Biden predicted a “massive military attack.”
Per National Review:
“If Russia goes further with this invasion we stand prepared to go further,” he added.
In what he referred to as the “first tranche” of expected sanctions, Biden announced the “full blocking” of Russia’s VEB bank and the country’s military bank, as well as sanctions on Russian sovereign debt, which Biden said would help cut Russia off from western financing. Biden continued that the U.S. will begin on Wednesday to sanction members of Russia’s elite and their family members.
“Because of Russia’s actions we worked with Germany to ensure Nord Stream 2 will not, as I promised, will not move forward,” Biden added.
Meanwhile, the president authorized additional deployments of U.S. forces to the Baltic nations of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, because of the continued presence of Russian troops in neighboring Belarus. Biden emphasized that the deployments were purely defensive in nature.
“We have no intention of fighting Russia,” Biden said while adding that America and its NATO allies would defend “every inch of NATO territory.”