Big Lines From Biden's News Conference on Ukraine

Putin 'chose this war' and will suffer the consequences, says president
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2022 1:31 PM CST
Biden: Putin 'Chose This War,' Will Pay
President Biden speaks about the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the East Room of the White House Thursday.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Biden imposed more sanctions on Russia Thursday, including on major banks and individuals with ties to the Kremlin, reports the Hill. Vladimir Putin “chose this war, and now he and his country will bear the consequences," said Biden at an afternoon news conference about the Ukraine invasion, per the New York Times. Some other key lines and points, from outlets including the Washington Post, the AP, and Axios.

  • The aim: Putin “has much larger ambitions than Ukraine," said Biden. "He wants to, in fact, re-establish the former Soviet Union. That what this is about."
  • US troops: Biden said he was authorizing more US troops to deploy to Europe but reiterated a key point: “Let me say it again: Our forces are not and will not be engaged in a conflict with Russia in Ukraine. Our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine, but to defend our NATO allies and reassure those allies in the east. As I made crystal clear, the United States will defend every inch of NATO territory with the full force of American power.”

  • Sanctions' pain: The new sanctions "are going to impose severe costs on the Russian economy both immediately and over time," said the president. "We have purposely designed these sanctions to maximize a long-term impact on Russia and to minimize the impact on the United States and our allies." In response to a question, he said the impact on Americans would be short-lived "as long as we continue to stay resolved.” He also pledged the sanctions would not disrupt the oil markets, though oil prices were surging.
  • From the AP: "Biden, for now, held off imposing some of the most severe sanctions, including cutting Russia out of the SWIFT payment system, which allows for the transfers of money from bank to bank around the globe, or Russia's energy sector."
  • No bullies: "This aggression cannot go unanswered and if it did the consequences for America would be much worse," said Biden. "America stands up to bullies. We stand up to freedom."
  • China: Is he urging China to rein in Putin? Biden said he was "not prepared to comment" on that for now.
(More President Biden stories.)

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