On Thursday, U.S. President Joe Biden said that while Russia has claimed it is pulling some of its troops off the country’s border with Ukraine, American officials have not yet been able to verify that claim.
Biden added that presently, Russian forces remain “very much in a threatening position,” and “an invasion remains distinctly possible.”
As he presented the information from the East Room of the White House, the president vowed to “give the diplomacy every chance” to stop a potential Russian invasion, but he also promised not to “sacrifice basic principles” that give countries the right to decide upon the shape of their own borders.
Biden additionally said he does not intend to send American military forces to fight in Ukraine, which is not currently a member of the NATO alliance, although he said the U.S. has already given some equipment, intelligence, and training to the Ukrainian government in preparation for an invasion.
The president vowed to support fellow NATO countries if Russia, or any other country, decides to attack the alliance. “The United States will defend every inch of NATO territory with the full force of American power,” Biden said. “An attack against one NATO country is an attack against all of us.”
His remarks came not long after Russian President Vladimir Putin said the country had chosen to “partially pull back troops,” and other Russian military officials indicated that some of the military presence had been sent back to their garrisons from the border with Ukraine.
But American officials and other European allies have expressed some concerns about Russian troop movements, noting that most of Putin’s troop deployment is still in a position to invade Ukraine quickly. NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said that so far, members of the organization “have not seen any sign of de-escalation.”
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: DENVER POST