White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday there is “no scenario” where U.S. troops would be sent into Ukraine to fight Russia.
The administration has been clear on avoiding sending troops into Ukraine, with President Joe Biden reiterating earlier in February that “there’s not” a situation where he’d deploy U.S. troops to help Americans evacuate. The president at the time said it would be “a world war when Americans and Russia start shooting at one another.”
Psaki was pressed about why the administration has the confidence to say openly that it will not send U.S. troops to engage with Russia given the current warnings about a full-fledged invasion.
“That is not a decision the president is going to make. We are not going to be in a war with Russia or putting military troops on the ground fighting Russia,” Psaki said.
When pressed on whether the comments indicate that the U.S. would ultimately allow Ukraine to fall to Putin without engaging militarily with Russia, the press secretary said “that is several steps down the road.”
“What I will tell you is that the president has been crystal clear and consistent. He is not sending U.S. troops to fight in Ukraine. That has not changed,” she said.
“I don’t know how many more times I can say it. There is no scenario – the president is not sending U.S. troops to fight in Ukraine against Russia,” Psaki added.
Psaki defended the steps the administration is taking to deter a Russian invasion, calling them “quite significant.” Biden issued an executive order Monday after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized two separatist-controlled Ukrainian territories. (RELATED: US Official Suggests Putin’s Order To Move Troops Into Separatist-Controlled Ukrainian Territories Won’t Prompt ‘Swift And Severe’ Sanctions)
Biden followed up the executive order by announcing Tuesday the “first tranche of sanctions” against Russia. The administration also reimposed economic sanctions Wednesday on the operator of Nord Stream 2.