The United States has said it will send reinforcements to NATO’s eastern flank and impose tough economic sanctions in case of Russian occupation of Ukraine. The warning to Moscow came hours before talks between the US and Russian presidents.
White House Chief of Staff, Joe Biden, will also make it clear to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, that the United States will not rule out Ukraine’s future NATO membership, as requested by the Russian president, said an top american official.
The official told reporters before the virtual summit between Biden and Putin that the first Russian intervention in Ukraine had led to the sending of more US troops and equipment to eastern Europe and that a similar reaction would take place this time, writes The Guardian, The Geopost reports.
“Clearly, if Putin intervenes, there would be a growing demand from the Eastern Allies and a positive response from the United States that additional forces, capabilities and exercises be deployed there to ensure the security of our allies. The east side in the face of that kind of aggression in Ukraine,” said the US official, but made it clear that Biden would not threaten a direct response from the US military.
He added that “obvious economic countermeasures” by the United States and Europe “could cause significant and severe economic damage to the Russian economy.”
On the other hand, the Russian president has said he will seek “security guarantees” for Russia, including a halt to NATO enlargement or military support for Ukraine. The White House has made it clear that such a thing will not part of the discussions.