President Joe Biden urged Russian President Vladimir Putin not to invade Ukraine in a phone call Thursday, vowing a “decisive” response from the U.S. and its allies should there be an attack.
Biden has previously stated that deploying U.S. troops to stop an invasion is “not on the table,” instead focusing on economic reprisals such as sanctions. Russia has had tens of thousands of troops amassed on its border with Ukraine for weeks. The buildup mirrors Russia’s actions prior to invading Crimea in 2014. (RELATED: US Issues Threat To European Country Warning About War)
“President Biden urged Russia to de-escalate tensions with Ukraine. He made clear that the United States and its allies and partners will respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement on the call provided to the Daily Caller.
Biden’s call with Putin comes roughly two weeks before U.S. and Russian officials will meet face-to-face to discuss the situation in Ukraine. Russian officials will also meet with NATO representatives on Jan. 12, followed by a larger meeting with the U.S., Russia and other countries Jan. 13.
Biden and allies have promised sweeping economic consequences if Putin orders his military to move forward with an invasion.
“We have a moral obligation and a legal obligation to our NATO allies if they were to attack under Article 5, it’s a sacred obligation,” Biden said in early December. “That obligation does not extend to NATO – I mean to Ukraine. But it would depend upon what rest of the NATO countries were willing to do as well. But the idea that the United States is going to unilaterally use force to confront Russia invading Ukraine is not on, in the cards right now. What will happen is there will be severe consequences.”
Republicans have been heavily critical of Biden’s handling of Ukraine, arguing that the president is being too lenient with Putin.
“‘Speak loudly and carry a small stick’ is a weak game plan,” Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse told the Daily Caller as Russia’s presence ramped up Dec. 7. “Biden has given Putin the upper hand at almost every turn: letting Russia dictate reciprocal diplomatic representation, waiving sanctions on NordStream 2, and turning the page from Paul Whelan and Alexei Navalny’s unjust imprisonment.”
Sen. Ted Cruz: “The Russian troops on the Ukrainian border are Joe Biden’s fault. And they are Senate Democrats fault for being unwilling to stand up to a president of their own party” and sanction Nord Stream 2. pic.twitter.com/E65zJ9TKP7
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) December 7, 2021
Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz also took to the Senate floor Dec. 7 and blamed Biden and Democrats entirely for the deteriorating security of Ukraine, arguing their hawkishness on Russia vanished when Trump left office.