At this time, in response to Russia’s admission that it’s going to not withdraw its forces from Belarus, I’ve approved the extra actions of U.S. Forces and gear already stationed in Europe, to strengthen our Baltic allies Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Let me be clear: These are completely defensive strikes on our half. We have now no intention of preventing Russia. We need to ship an unmistakable message, although, that the US, along with our allies, will defend each inch of NATO territory and abide by the commitments we made to NATO.
We nonetheless consider that Russia is poised to go a lot additional in launching a large army assault towards Ukraine. I hope I’m incorrect about that and I hope we’re incorrect about that, however Russia has solely escalated its menace towards the remainder of Ukrainian territory, together with the most important cities and the capital metropolis of Kyiv. There are nonetheless nicely over 150,000 Russian troops surrounding Ukraine.
As I mentioned, Russian forces stay positioned in Belarus to assault Ukraine from the north, together with battle planes and offensive missile programs. Russia’s moved troops nearer to Ukraine’s border with Russia. Russia’s naval vessels are maneuvering within the Black Sea to Ukraine’s south together with amphibious assault ships, missile cruisers and submarines. Russia’s moved provides of blood and medical gear into place on the border. You don’t want blood except you intend on beginning a battle.
Over the previous couple of days, we’ve seen a lot of the playbook that Secretary Blinken laid out final week within the United Nations Safety Council come to move. A significant enhance in army provocations, and false flag occasions alongside the road of contact within the Donbas, dramatically staged, conveniently on digicam, assembly of Putin’s safety council to grandstand for the Russian public. And now, political provocation of recognizing sovereign Ukrainian territory, so-called unbiased republics, in clear violation, once more, of worldwide regulation.
President Putin has sought authorization from the Russian Parliament to make use of army power outdoors of Russian territory. And this set the stage for additional pretext of additional provocations by Russia to attempt to justify additional army motion.
None of us, none of us ought to be fooled. None of us can be fooled. There isn’t any justification. Additional Russian assault of the Ukraine stays a extreme menace within the days forward. If Russia proceeds, it’s Russia and Russia alone that bears the duty. As we reply, my administration is utilizing each device at our disposal to guard American companies and shoppers from rising costs on the pump.