On Tuesday, President Joe Biden spoke at the White House about the situation in Ukraine and said a Russian attack on the country was “still very much a possibility,” saying Moscow’s claim that it is withdrawing some of its troops from the Ukrainian border still needed to be verified.
President Biden says the U.S. has "not yet verified" Russia's claims that some of its military units are leaving their positions near Ukraine.
"Our analyst indicate that they remain very much in a threatening position…An invasion remains distinctly possible." pic.twitter.com/OWEwsxsCnQ
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 15, 2022
According to Biden, Russia has more than 150,000 troops circling Ukraine.
Biden said the US favored “high diplomacy”, and that although Washington would not send American servicemen to Ukraine, which is not a NATO member, it has already provided the country arms and would send troops to protect NATO allies.
“We have provided training, and advice, and intelligence for the same purpose. Make no mistake, the United States will defend every inch of NATO territory with the full force of American power. An attack against one NATO country is an attack against all of us. The United States’ commitment to Article 5 is sacrosanct.”
This comes as Moscow’s defense ministry said earlier Tuesday that some Russian troops that have been participating in war exercises would return to their bases. It did not specify how many troops would return.
Biden remained dubious over the claims.
“We have not yet verified that Russian military units are returning to their home bases. Indeed, our analysts indicate that they remain very much in a threatening position,” he said.
“From the beginning of this crisis, I have been clear and consistent; the United States is prepared no matter what happens. We are ready with diplomacy, to engage in diplomacy with Russia,” said Biden.
Biden also had a message to the Russian people: “We’re not targeting the people of Russia. We do not seek to destabilize Russia. To the citizens of Russia: you are not our enemy, and I don’t believe you want a bloody, destructive war against Ukraine,” Biden said.