The American president announced, Friday, to prepare a “set of initiatives” geared toward protecting Ukraine from a Russian attack, at a time when Kiev and Washington accuse Moscow of getting ready an invasion. Among these measures, economic sanctions are envisaged.
Joe Biden stepped up the pressure on Russia on Friday by saying he was making ready “initiatives” to defend Ukraine in the event of an invasion , before an exchange with his counterpart Vladimir Poutin expected in the coming days.
Claiming to be in “constant contact ” with the allies of the United States and the Ukrainians , the American president declared from the White House: ” I am getting ready what can be, I believe, the set of initiatives. additional comprehensive and relevant, to create it terribly, very tough for Mr. Putin to do what people worry he is doing ”.
Joe Biden, who was responding to a matter posed after a speech on the economy, did not offer additional details.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki was hardly more talkative throughout her routine press briefing, indicating: “There are a series of tools at our disposal. Of course, economic sanctions are an possibility. ”
Upcoming conversation with Putin
The American president and his Russian counterpart are soon to debate directly the tensions around Ukraine, seven years once the Russian annexation of Crimea and therefore the takeover of part of the east of the previous Soviet republic by pro-Russian separatist forces.
But the exact date and modalities of this conversation are not known.
The 2 men had seen every alternative face to face in Geneva last June. However Joe Biden has since largely centered his diplomatic efforts on the rivalry of the United States with China: he had a complete of 3 long exchanges with President Xi Jinping, including a videoconference lasting several hours on November fifteen.
There is little question that by massing tens of thousands of troopers on the Ukrainian border, as Washington and Kiev reproach him, Vladimir Putin has regained the eye of his American counterpart.
The “summit of democracies” boasted by Beijing and Moscow
To ease tensions, Moscow is calling for “security guarantees” and in particular the peace of mind that NATO will not still expand eastward, in explicit with Ukraine joining.
Kiev for its part categorically refuses to abandon such a membership project, formally on the table since 2008, but remained in limbo. Joining NATO would mean that the opposite alliance countries, led by the United States, would be needed to intervene militarily to defend Ukraine in the event of aggression.
The diplomatic exercise is delicate for Joe Biden.
The democrat definitely needs to be the spokesperson for democracies in the face of authoritarian regimes in the world: he is even organizing a virtual 2-day “summit of democracies” next week , an initiative touted by China and Russia. He conjointly needs to repair the ancient alliances of the United States, undermined by his predecessor Donald Trump.
However on the other hand, the President of the United States, who put an finish to twenty years of military intervention in Afghanistan, no longer desires to engage American troops in major open conflicts.
And if he is not stingy with robust statements against Russia, and in specific against Vladimir Poutine whom he had publicly qualified as a “killer”, Joe Biden will also be pragmatic. He showed it, as an example, by giving his approval to a gas pipeline project dear to Moscow, but which infuriates Ukraine.
Joe Biden does not hide his impatience with the problems of corruption and governance in Ukraine either. Receiving Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the White House at the start of September, he had promised to “support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within the face of Russian aggression” , however had created little headway on the new topic. membership in NATO.