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Biden clarifies U.S. stance on Russia invading Ukraine

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A day after he seemed to distinguish between “a minor incursion” by Russia into Ukraine and an invasion, President Biden on Thursday said he has made it clear to Russian President Vladimir Putin that “if any — any — assembled Russian units move across the Ukrainian border, that is an invasion.” Biden said an invasion would be met with a severe economic response to Russia by the U.S. and its allies.

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: Well, let me start by first saying a few words about Russia and Ukraine. I've been absolutely clear with President Putin. He has no misunderstanding. If any-- any-- assembled Russian units move across Ukrainian border, that is an invasion. And it will be met with a severe and coordinated economic response that I've discussed in detail with our allies as well as laid out very clearly for President Putin. But there is no doubt-- let there be no doubt at all-- that if Putin makes this choice, Russia will pay a heavy price.

It is also not the only scenario we need to be prepared for. Russia has a long history of using measures other than overt military action to carry out aggression, and paramilitary tactics, so-called gray zone attacks, and actions by Russian soldiers not wearing Russian uniforms. Remember, when they moved into the [? Donbas, ?] the little green men? They were dealing with those who were Russian sympathizers, and said that Russia had nobody in there.

Well, that includes little green men in uniforms as well as cyber attack. We have to be ready to respond to these as well, and decisive in a united Way with a range of tools at our disposal. The Ukrainian foreign minister said this morning that he's confident of our support and resolve and he has a right to be.

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