Biden Warns Americans In Ukraine: It Would Be ‘Wise’ To Leave

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Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden urged U.S. citizens currently in Ukraine to leave the country Monday as Russian military forces continue to amass on the Ukrainian border and threaten invasion.

Biden made the statement during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the White House on Monday. The two leaders discussed Russia’s aggression at length in a private meeting. The U.S. State Department called on U.S. citizens and some diplomats in Ukraine to evacuate the country weeks ago, but Biden sent the message personally Monday. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: ‘Speak Loudly And Carry A Small Stick’: Republicans Blast Biden’s Response To Putin’s Escalation In Ukraine)

“What is your message to the roughly 30,000 Americans who are in Ukraine? Do you think they should leave the country?” a reporter asked.

“I think it would be wise to leave the country,” Biden responded. “I’m not talking about our diplomatic corps. I’m talking about Americans who are there. I would hate to see them get caught in a crossfire if in fact [Russia] did invade. There’s no need for that, and if I were they and were there I’d say leave.”


The State Department evacuated the families of U.S. diplomats from Ukraine in late January and sent out a memo advising U.S. citizens who were there for non-diplomatic purposes to evacuate as well.

Biden, Scholz and other NATO members have threatened severe economic consequences for Russia if Putin moves forward with an invasion. Biden stated that in addition to “decisive” sanctions, an invasion would end the Nord Stream 2 project. Nord Stream 2 is a years-long, multi-billion-dollar project to construct an oil pipeline from Russia to Germany. The project is all-but completed, however, raising questions as to how the U.S. could halt its completion.

Biden stated Monday alongside Olaf that if Russian “tanks or troops” cross the Ukrainian border, then “there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2.” While Olaf refused to specifically state that Germany would end the Nord Stream 2 project, he affirmed that Germany was “completely united” with the U.S. on any consequences for a Russian invasion.

“I promise you, we will be able to do it,” Biden said when pressed about how he would ensure the pipeline doesn’t move forward.