President Biden addressed the brewing conflict between Russia and Ukraine during a press briefing Wednesday, saying of Russian President Vladimir Putin, “my guess is he will move in.”
Why it matters: U.S. officials have issued a series of warnings about Russia’s threatening military buildup on the border with Ukraine, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying in Kyiv earlier Wednesday that Russia could invade “on very short notice.”
- But as Biden himself acknowledged, it’s unclear whether Putin himself has decided what comes next.
Zoom in: “I think he still does not want any full-blown war, number one. Number two, do I think he’ll test the west? Test the United States and NATO as significantly as he can? Yes, I think he will,” Biden said.
- “But I think he’ll pay a serious and dear price for it that he doesn’t think now will cost him what it’s going to cost him. And I think he’ll regret having done it.”
- “My guess is he will move in. He has to do something.”
Worth noting: Biden said that Russia will be “held accountable if it invades” but added that “it depends on what it does.”
- “It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and we end up having to fight about what to do and not do, et cetera.”
- But if Russia launches a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, this would be a “disaster for Russia.”