On Tuesday, President Biden stated that Russian President Vladimir V. Putin had “badly misjudged” by invading Ukraine, and he promised to make Moscow pay a “heavy economic “price” even as he reiterated his commitment to avoid a direct military conflict with the United States.
After being conceived as a chance for a struggling president to convey a comforting message about the economy to a home audience, the address was swiftly repurposed to send a stern warning to a foreign leader in the aftermath of September 11.
Former President Barack Obama announced several new measures to further punish Russian President Vladimir Putin, including a temporary ban on Russian aircraft from entering U.S. airspace and the creation of a task force within the Justice Department to aggressively identify, locate, and seize the assets of Russian oligarchs and officials in Mr. Putin’s inner circle, as had been widely anticipated.
“We’re working with our European friends to track down and confiscate their yachts, luxury homes, and private aircraft,” President Joe Biden said in his speech. As a result, today I’m announcing that the United States will join our partners in cutting off American airspace to all Russian planes, further isolating Russia and increasing the pressure on their economy.”
During the early stages of his speech, Mr. Biden was constantly interrupted by applause from members of both political parties as he addressed the current issue in the country.
However, when he cautioned Americans to anticipate economic repercussions in the form of rising oil prices as a consequence of the sanctions, the Republican applause died down. For that reason, he said that the United States, working with 30 allies, will release 60 million barrels of oil from reserves, with half of that amount coming from domestic resources.
“We’re going to be OK,” he assured them.
What President Biden did not say was as important.
In response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s frightening statements in recent days about putting Russia’s nuclear weapons on a war footing, he made no mention of the nation’s nuclear deterrent capabilities. He also failed to provide a clear path out of the crisis, or even a potential exit strategy for a Mr. Putin who is becoming more bellicose and isolated, short of ordering Russian soldiers to withdraw from Ukraine immediately.
The president pledged to provide Ukraine with sufficient weaponry, supplies and humanitarian assistance to “fight for freedom,” but he reiterated that the US was not prepared to directly confront Russian troops by sending NATO troops into Ukraine or declaring an international no-fly zone, as some Democrats have suggested.
In a statement, he said, “Let me be clear: Our soldiers are not involved and will not fight with the Russian forces in Ukraine.”
In addition, Mr. Biden said that “our soldiers are not going to Europe to fight Ukraine, but rather to protect our NATO partners in the event that Putin chooses to continue his westward march.” “In order to do this, we have assembled American land troops, air units, and naval vessels.”