As US imposed wide-ranging sanctions on Russia over its declared annexation of parts of Ukraine, President Joe Biden warned his Russian counterpart against making any threat to NATO territory.
“America’s fully prepared with our NATO allies to defend every single inch of NATO territory. Every single inch,” Biden said at the White House.
“So Mr. Putin, don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. Every inch.”
Biden’s remark came hours after Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Kyiv is submitting “accelerated” application for NATO membership following Russia’s formal annexation of four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine.
Biden asserted that US and its allies won’t be intimidated by Putin and his “reckless threats”.
“Putin’s actions are a sign he’s struggling… He can’t seize his neighbour’s territory and get away with it. We will continue to provide military equipment to Ukraine,” he added.
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On Friday, Biden issued a statement condemning Russia’s “fraudulent attempt” to annex Ukrainian territory and accused Kremlin of “violating international law, trampling on the United Nations Charter, and showing its contempt for peaceful nations everywhere.”
“Make no mistake: these actions have no legitimacy. The United States will always honor Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders. We will continue to support Ukraine’s efforts to regain control of its territory by strengthening its hand militarily and diplomatically, including through the $1.1 billion in additional security assistance the United States announced this week,” the US president added, announcing fresh sanctions on Russia.
“We will rally the international community to both denounce these moves and to hold Russia accountable. We will continue to provide Ukraine with the equipment it needs to defend itself, undeterred by Russia’s brazen effort to redraw the borders of its neighbor. And I look forward to signing legislation from Congress that will provide an additional $12 billion to support Ukraine,” he said.