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Thursday, January 20, 2022 1:00 am

Biden: 'Dear price' to pay for invasion

Associated Press

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden said he believes Vladimir Putin doesn't want full blown war in Ukraine and would pay a “dear price” if he moves forward with a military incursion.

Biden, speaking at a news conference to mark his one-year anniversary in office, also said he believes that Russia is preparing to take action on Ukraine, though he doesn't think the Russian president has made a final decision. Biden suggested he would limit Russia's access to the international banking system if it did further invade Ukraine.

“I'm not so sure that he is certain what is he going to do,” Biden said. “My guess is he will move in.”

Biden's comments came hours after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a visit to Kyiv accused Russia of planning to reinforce the more than 100,000 troops it has deployed along the Ukrainian border and suggested that number could double “on relatively short order.” Blinken did not elaborate, but Russia has sent an unspecified number of troops to its ally Belarus, which also shares a border with Ukraine, for major war games next month.

U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), speaking at a news conference with Republican members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee, called on Biden to stay firm with Putin.

“The U.S. still remains the world leader, the protector, of our international system. We do not have a self-regulating order. We must make order,” he said. “This administration must understand that we continue to carry that burden of leadership.”

Young called on Biden to reimpose economic sanctions on Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline, saying it would act as a deterrent to an invasion.

The U.S. president said he believes Russia's decision on an invasion will “solely” be Putin's and suggested he was not fully confident that Russian officials with whom top White House advisers have been negotiating are fully informed about Putin's thinking.

Biden also suggested a “minor incursion” would elicit a lesser response than a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, saying “it's very important that we keep everyone in NATO on the same page.” Biden later in the news conference sought to clarify that he was referring to a non-military action, such as a cyberattack, that would be met with a similar reciprocal response.


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