US President Biden thinks Russia will invade Ukraine, but it is questionable, according to him, whether the country will proceed to a complete invasion and occupation. “Putin will have to do something,” he said at a press conference he held because he was inaugurated as president a year ago.
Should Russia indeed proceed to invading Ukraine, there will be strict sanctions against it, said Biden. For example, Russian banks will no longer be able to trade dollars, Biden mirrored his counterpart Putin: “He will pay a serious price for it and it will repent him.”
According to Biden, the sanctions depend on exactly what Russia does. There are different scenarios on the table. In the extreme case, Russia decides to a large-scale invasion and occupation of Ukraine. More likely, according to experts, Russia is opting for a more emphatic presence in the regions of eastern Ukraine where war is already raging. Biden thinks a full war is too costly for the Russian people and the Russian economy.
The West and Russia have been diametrically opposed for months, causing tensions around Ukraine. Russia has stationed around 100,000 soldiers along the border with Ukraine. However, Putin denies that his country plans to invade Ukraine.
Russia says NATO poses a threat to the security of the country and wants US and NATO assurances that Ukraine will never join the military alliance. NATO does not want to promise that; according to the alliance, accession is a decision by Ukraine and NATO with which Russia has nothing to do. Biden says a membership in Ukraine is not at all at the moment.
Putin also wants NATO to be no longer active in countries that joined after 1997. This comes down to all Eastern European member states, among other things. Such a commitment is also unnegotiable for NATO. Diplomatic consultations on the disagreement did not yield anything last week. A new consultation between the US and Russia is scheduled on Friday.