US President Joe Biden says he warned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin of unprecedented US sanctions if Russia attacks Ukraine.
A day after talking for two hours by video link, Biden says he told Putin that the United States would retaliate with sanctions “like none he’s ever seen,” in the event of a Russian assault on Ukraine.
“I made it very clear, if, in fact, he invades Ukraine, there will be severe consequences, severe consequences — economic consequences, like none he’s ever seen or ever have been seen,” Biden tells reporters at the White House.
Biden says that in addition to economic measures, a new Russian attack on Ukraine would also trigger a bolstered US military presence on the territory of NATO allies in eastern Europe.
“We would probably be required to reinforce our presence in NATO countries to reassure particularly those in the eastern flank. In addition to that, I made it clear that we would provide a defensive capability to the Ukrainians as well,” he says.
However, he adds that sending US troops to defend Ukraine from Russia is “not on the cards,” because the country is not part of NATO.