Europe

Joe Biden on Russia-Ukraine conflict: Vladimir Putin, the aggressor, chose this war

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Joe Biden, 79, addressed the United States from the White House East Room in Washington, D.C., USA on February 24, 2022. It was the 46th U.S. president’s first appearance in public since the Russian attack against Ukraine started on February 23, 2022.

Biden called Vladimir Putin (Владимир Путин), 69, the aggressor. The latter has been the president of Russia since May 7, 2012.

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“Putin chose this war and now he and his country will bear the consequences,” Biden said. The U.S. president unveiled new sanctions on Russia including export blocks on technology, which he believes would severely limit the European country’s ability to advance its military and aerospace sector. 

According to Biden, the new measures will impose severe cost on the Russian economy “both immediately and over time.” The American president pointed out that the measures may not immediately alter the Russian president’s behavior.

Because of Putin’s actions, Russia will severely suffer economically and strategically, according to Biden. The American president said his Russian counterpart’s actions “betray a sinister vision for the future of our world, one where nations take what they want by force.”

Moreover, Biden announced that U.S. forces are not and will not be engaged in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. He explained that American forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine but defend American allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and “reassure those allies in the east.”

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Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance formed on April 4, 1949. The Russia–NATO Council was established in 2002 but after NATO expelled eight Russian officials from its Brussels headquarters in October 2021, Russia suspended its mission to NATO and ordered the closure of NATO’s office in Moscow, Russia.

Including Belgium and the U.S., NATO currently has 30 member states. The other members are Albania, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

On January 11, 1994, the NATO program Partnership for Peace was launched in Brussels. The program welcomed Ukraine on February 8, 1994 and Russia on June 22, 1994.

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