U.S. President Joe Biden has said that it would be a “disaster” for Russia if it launches a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Biden said this on Wednesday, January 19, at a press conference on his first year since he took office, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.
“I think what you’re going to see is that Russia will be held accountable if it invades. And it depends on what it does,” Biden said.
He noted that a “minor incursion” by Russia would provoke less reaction. However, according to him, if Russia actually does “what they’re capable of doing with the forces amassed on the border, it is going to be a disaster for Russia.” In particular, Russian banks will not be able to deal in U.S. dollars. In addition, Biden made clear that the United States does not rule out the introduction of restrictions against Russia’s energy sector.
“Everybody talks about how Russia has control over the energy supply that Europe absorbs. Well, guess what? That money that they earn from that makes about 45 percent of the economy. I don’t see that as a one-way street,” Biden said.
In addition, he noted that the United States as well as “our allies and partners are ready to impose severe costs and significant harm on Russia and the Russian economy.” At the same time, in response to Russia’s aggression, NATO allies on the eastern flank will be fortified and defensive assistance to Ukraine will be increased.
“I’ve already shipped over $600 million worth of sophisticated equipment, defensive equipment to the Ukrainians,” Biden said. He noted that this would significantly increase the cost to Russia in terms of physical loss of life if it invades Ukraine.
Thus, Biden said, Russia has a stark choice: either de-escalation and diplomacy, or confrontation and the consequences.