The Key Takeaways From Biden’s Address Following Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

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Several hours after the first Russian troops moved into Ukraine on Thursday morning, President Joe Biden characterized the invasion as a “premeditated attack” planned for months by Vladimir Putin. In his afternoon address, Biden outlined sanctions intended to bring Russia to heel and cut the nation’s government off from Western financing, adding that he would authorize additional U.S. troops and equipment to strengthen the U.S. presence in NATO allies.

“Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable,” the Biden administration said in a statement on Wednesday. 

Below, four more key points Biden made in his address: 

Biden presented Russia’s aggression as part of a larger project. 

Putin “has much larger ambitions than Ukraine,” Biden stated. “He wants to, in fact, reestablish the former Soviet Union. That’s what this is about.” When asked by a reporter about Putin’s potential nuclear threats, however, the president was less direct. “I have no idea what he’s threatening,” Biden said. “I know what he has done.”

The U.S. is highly unlikely to send troops to Ukraine but will be deploying more of them to NATO allies. 

On Thursday, Biden informed the American public of the possibility of increased U.S. involvement in defense of NATO territories: “We have no intention of fighting Russia. We want to send an unmistakable message, though, that the United States, together with our allies, will defend every inch of NATO territory and abide by the commitments we made to NATO.”

Sanctions will become more severe. 

Sanctions, which had been threatened for weeks and began earlier this week, will increase now that Russia has officially begun to attack. They will target Russian elites, banks, and technology exports, intending, according to a White House statement, to “isolate Russia from the global financial system.” While several White House reporters questioned the effectiveness of the proposed sanctions against Russia, Biden remained resolute in his administration’s plan of action, repeating, “There’s no question that Russia is the aggressor.”

The effects of all this will likely be felt at the gas pump. 

After acknowledging the severity of the threat that Russian forces pose to Ukraine, Biden addressed the effect that the invasion would have on U.S. inflation and gas prices in particular, claiming to be working with oil companies to limit the burden on American consumers. “My administration is using every tool at our disposal to protect American businesses and consumers from rising prices at the pump,” Biden stated. 




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