President Joe Biden spoke on Tuesday about the current situation between Russia and Ukraine. The President urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to engage in diplomacy as the world grows increasingly anxious that Russia will order an invasion of Ukraine.
Biden addressed Russian citizens in a speech delivered from the White House, telling them that the US is not antagonistic towards them and that diplomacy with Russia is still a viable option:
“The United States and NATO are not a threat to Russia, Ukraine is not a threat to Russia. Neither the US nor NATO have missiles in Ukraine. We do not–do not–have plans to put them there, as well. 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.”
Biden added that he felt the Russian people do not want “a bloody destructive war against Ukraine, a country and people with whom you share such deep ties of family history and culture.”
Biden urges diplomacy with Russia
He also invoked the history of US and Russian diplomacy all the way back to World War II, noting that the two countries had “fought and sacrificed side by side in the worst war in history.”
“World War II was a war of necessity, but if Russia attacks Ukraine, it would be a war of choice–a war without cause or reason,” he said, later adding that “If Russia does invade in the days and weeks ahead, the human costs for Ukraine will be immense, and the strategic cost for Russia will also be immense.”
Biden issued a stark warning to Russia: talks are still an option, but the choice to invade will be met with a swift response.
“The world will not forget that Russia chose needless death and destruction. Invading Ukraine will prove to be a self-inflicted wound. If Russia attacks Ukraine, it will be met with overwhelming international condemnation.”