Biden's Comments on Ukraine Won't Change Russia’s Calculus
MIN READJan 21, 2022 | 23:13 GMT
U.S. President Joe Biden takes questions from reporters during a news conference in the East Room of the White House on Jan. 19, 2022, in Washington.
(MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
U.S. President Joe Biden’s recent comments on Ukraine will not alter Russia’s calculus as an escalation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine and other measures to increase Moscow’s leverage vis-a-vis the West remain on the table, even if a full-scale invasion is improbable. At a Jan. 19 press conference, Biden predicted Russia would “move in” to Ukraine and suggested a “minor incursion” by Moscow could lead to Western countries “having to fight about what to do and not do,” appearing to confirm there was a gray area regarding the precise threshold for triggering U.S. and European response measures. Immediately following the conference, the White House issued a statement clarifying Biden’s comments, noting “any Russian military forces mov[ing] across the Ukrainian border” would constitute “a renewed invasion” and would “be met with a swift, severe, and united response from the United States and our allies.” But the U.S. president’s remarks have...