The American leader said that he does not believe in Russia’s desire to wage war with Ukraine.
The U.S. President Joe Biden, speaking at the White House, addressed the Russian people with a statement that he did not believe in Russia’s desire to wage war with Ukraine.
“I appeal to the Russian people – you are not our enemy. And I don’t believe that you want a bloody, destructive war against Ukraine – the country and the people with whom you have such deep ties,” he said.
The head of the White House in his speech also recalled the Second World War, in which both countries fought together. “Our people fought and sacrificed shoulder to shoulder 77 years ago. The Second World War was forced. However, if Russia attacks Ukraine, it will be a war of choice or a war without cause and reason,” he argued.
Biden noted that the United States does not have missiles on the territory of Ukraine and does not intend to deploy them there in the future.
“Neither the U.S. nor NATO have missiles in Ukraine. We also have no plans to place them there,” he said.
“We are not targeting the Russian people. We are not trying to destabilize Russia,” the head of the White House added.
The American leader indicated that the U.S. authorities do not intend to send their troops to Ukraine in the event of hostilities there, but will be committed to the principle of collective defense of NATO.
“Although I will not send the American military to fight in Ukraine, we have supplied the Ukrainian military with equipment to help them defend themselves. For the same purpose, we train them, advise them, and provide intelligence data. And make no mistake: the United States will defend every centimeter of NATO territory <…>. An attack on one of the NATO countries is an attack on all [members of the alliance],” he said.
The U.S. President recalled that earlier this month he ordered the transfer of several thousand U.S. troops to Europe to “strengthen the eastern flank of NATO.” “We will also continue to conduct military exercises with our allies and partners in order to increase our defense capability. And if Russia invades [Ukraine], we will take further steps to strengthen our presence in NATO, support our allies and deter further aggression,” Biden argued.
Diplomacy and a decisive response
According to him, the United States is ready for diplomatic cooperation with Moscow and for a decisive response to Russia’s possible aggression against Ukraine.
“The United States is ready for whatever happens. We are ready <…> towards diplomatic cooperation with Russia <…> to improve stability and security in Europe as a whole,” he said. “And we are ready to respond decisively to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, which is still quite possible,” Biden added.
“During all the events of the last few weeks and months, this has been our approach. And this is our approach now,” the American president said.
The United States agrees with Russia that it is necessary to continue to make diplomatic efforts in the field of security in Europe, he stressed.
“Both we and they have security concerns. President [Russian Federation Vladimir] Putin and I agreed that our teams should continue to work towards this goal together with our European partners. On Monday, the Russian authorities publicly declared their readiness to continue diplomacy. I agree. We need to give diplomacy every chance of success,” he said.
“As long as there is hope for a diplomatic settlement that will prevent the use of force <…>, we must work in this direction,” Biden added.
In addition, as the head of state clarified, the U.S. authorities would welcome Russia’s return of military forces after the exercises to the places of permanent deployment, but Washington cannot confirm this information yet.
“The Russian Defense Ministry reported that some of the units are leaving their positions near Ukraine. That would be good. But we haven’t verified that yet. We have not yet made sure that Russian military units are returning to their permanent locations,” the American leader said. “In fact, as our analysts note, they are still in positions from which they pose a threat.”
According to Biden, “more than 150 thousand military” of the Russian Federation are located near the Ukrainian borders. “An invasion remains quite possible,” the U.S. president argued. “That’s why I have asked several times that all Americans who are in Ukraine leave immediately, before it’s too late to do it safely.”
As Biden noted, the U.S. authorities are ready to fix written security agreements with the Russian Federation if they are reached.
“For several weeks now, we have been engaged in non-stop diplomacy with our allies and partners <…>. This weekend I spoke [by phone] with President [of the Russian Federation Vladimir] Putin to make it clear that we are ready to continue high-level diplomacy to achieve mutual understanding in writing between the Russian Federation, the United States and European countries in order to respond to justified security concerns, if that is what he [the Russian President] wants. Their security concerns and ours,” Biden said.
According to the head of the White House, the United States is ready to respond to possible attacks from Russia, including hacking, but Washington does not seek confrontation with Moscow.
“We do not seek direct confrontation with Russia. Although I made it clear that if Russia threatens the Americans in Ukraine, we will respond decisively. And if Russia attacks the United States or our allies using asymmetric means like destructive cyber-attacks on our companies or critical infrastructure, then we are ready to respond,” the head of the Washington administration said. He noted that the United States and its NATO allies and other partners are actively working together to “strengthen collective defense against threats in cyberspace.”
At the same time, Biden expressed confidence that Russia and the United States, even in the current tense situation, may well “choose diplomacy.” Moscow and Washington bear “historical responsibility” for “global stability,” and they should follow the path of diplomacy for the sake of a “common future,” the American leader is convinced.
“However, there is no need to doubt: if Russia invades Ukraine, the responsible countries of the world will not hesitate to respond,” Biden predicted. “If we do not stand up for freedom today where it is under threat, then we will definitely pay a higher price tomorrow,” the president declared. In addition, he assured that “the United States and NATO are not a threat to Russia.” “We are not targeting the people of Russia. We do not seek to destabilize Russia,” the head of the White House argued.
The issue of NATO expansion
Biden noted that the United States will not compromise its basic principle, according to which countries are free to choose their own alliances.
According to him, the United States has presented concrete ideas for creating security architecture in Europe. “We have proposed new arms control measures, new transparency measures, new measures for strategic stability,” the U.S. president noted. “These measures concern all parties – NATO and Russia.”
According to the head of the administration, these are result-oriented steps that can strengthen overall security.
“We will not compromise our basic principles. Countries have the right to sovereignty and territorial integrity, they are free to set their course and choose those with whom to associate,” Biden said.