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President Joe Biden ruled out sending troops on the ground to Ukraine if Russia invades it, despite warning his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, that there will be economic consequences.
“It’s not on the table,” Biden said when asked by reporters at the White House about possibly sending troops on the ground to Ukraine.
Biden recalled that the United States has a “sacred obligation” to militarily assist its NATO allies if they were attacked, but that commitment “does not extend” to Ukraine, which is not a member of the Atlantic Alliance.
Biden said that in the event of a Russian attack on Ukraine, the U.S. would provide more defensive capabilities to the Ukrainians and bolster the American presence in countries on NATO’s eastern flank, he stressed.
“I was very direct (with Putin). I made it very clear that (…) if he invades Ukraine there will be serious consequences, economic consequences never seen by him,” Biden explained.
“I’m absolutely confident that (Putin) got the message,” he added.
The U.S. and Ukraine believe Russia is preparing an incursion into Ukrainian territory that could occur as early as 2022, which is why it has deployed between 70,000 and 94,000 Russian troops on its border with the neighboring country, according to U.S. intelligence estimates.
That Russian military capability positioned on the Ukrainian border is, according to the State Department, much larger and on a much more lethal scale than that which preceded the 2014 invasion of Crimea, and that is why the United States has warned that its response to a possible attack will be more aggressive than it was seven years ago.
The White House has even mentioned the possibility of Germany suspending the operation of the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which has not yet begun operating and is intended to transport gas from Russia to German territory.