Biden Draws a Red Line for Putin on Ukraine
By: Ahmed Fathi
President Joe Biden made an impassioned appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin to step back from war with Ukraine on Tuesday, speaking starkly of the "needless death and destruction" Moscow could cause and international outrage Putin would face.
In a nationally televised speech, Biden said the United States estimates that 150,000 Russian troops now encircle Ukraine, a higher number than previous estimates of about 100,000. Biden said diplomacy remains a live option to wind down the crisis and urged Russia to engage. "The United States is prepared no matter what happens," he said. The world would not forget that Russia chose needless death and destruction," Biden said.
The president said the United States is "not seeking direct confrontation with Russia" and that American soldiers were not going to fight in Ukraine. "He warned that a Russian invasion would cause "consequences here at home," including energy costs. But he has laid out a road map for a peaceful resolution, including talks on missile deployments and military exercises to try to reduce tensions in the region. "We are ready to respond decisively to a Russian attack on Ukraine, which remains very much a possibility," Biden said.