Here’s what Biden had to say about sending US troops to Ukraine

Gas prices are likely to rise.

The world order after World War II that had maintained relative peace in Europe was under threat.

But Biden has also been very clear on another point: U.S. troops will not be sent to Ukraine to take part in the conflict.

as announced New sanctions against Russia “Our forces are not and will not be involved in the conflict,” Biden said on Thursday. “Our forces will not go to Europe to fight in Ukraine, but to defend our NATO allies and reassure those allies in the east,” he added.

When announced the first batch of Sanctions against Russia to start its invasion on Tuesday, Biden reciprocated I took great care to make it clear that the United States was not aggressive towards Russia.

“Let me be clear: these are completely defensive moves on our part. We have no intention of fighting Russia.” Biden said.

Earlier in February, Biden told NBC News that he would not consider any scenario involving sending US troops to evacuate Americans in Ukraine.

“There is no. This is a world war when the Americans and Russia start shooting at each other,” he said.

While Biden’s clarification that US forces will not engage offensively could help To avoid a conflict between the United States and Russia, critics noted that he made it clear to Russian President Vladimir Putin that his forces would face fewer obstacles in invading them.

“Biden has diluted our most important source of influence in this crisis,” said Ian Brzezinski, a former Pentagon official under President George W. Bush. He told the New York Times, advance this month.

US forces are present in countries neighboring Ukraine

A key element in Putin’s invasion was his fear that Ukraine would become part of NATO, or NATOFormed after World War II to contain the Soviet Union and expanded in recent decades to include the former Soviet bloc countries.
Ukraine On the border with NATO member states Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. If Russia threatens one of these countries, the United States will be required by the agreement to defend it.

“We want to send an unmistakable message, that the United States and our allies will defend every inch of NATO territory and live up to the commitments we made to NATO,” Biden said on Tuesday.

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He said something similar last week, in remarks to the White House, but added clearly: “We will also not send soldiers to fight in Ukraine, but we will continue to support the Ukrainian people.”

Movement of forces within NATO countries

While Biden vowed not to send US troops to Ukraine, the US did Sent additional troops and combat aircraft to Eastern Europe countries including In recent weeks and on Thursday, Poland and Romania announced the deployment of an additional 7,000 troops to Germany.

After the Russian invasion and attack on Ukraine, CNN reported that the Biden administration is considering moving more U.S. forces already in Europe to countries further east due to Russia’s massive firepower too close to allies, according to a U.S. official familiar with the matter.

“Today we have activated the NATO defensive posture, which gives our military commanders more powers to move forces and deploy forces when needed, and of course this can also be elements of the NATO Response Force,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday. “We are ready, we adjust our position but what we do is defensive and thoughtful and we do not seek confrontation. We want to prevent conflict.”

Opposition to major US intervention

Americans fear US interference in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, according to opinion polls conducted in the run-up to the Russian invasion.

In the AP-NORC poll, conducted last Friday through Monday, only 26% of Americans believe that the United States should play a major role in the situation between Russia and Ukraine. About half, 52%, said it should play a secondary role and 20% said it should play no role at all.

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A third of Democrats (32%) and 22% of Republicans wanted the United States to play a major role. The independents were more likely to say the United States should play no role; 32% felt so, compared to 22% among Republicans and 14% among Democrats.

In view of the polling, Biden and US officials will have to be very careful to engage the public before changing the administration’s position on the commitment of US forces.

This story was updated with additional developments on Thursday.

CNN’s Barbara Starr and Ariel Edwards Levy contributed to this report.

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