President Joe Biden again ruled out any direct intervention by the United States to halt Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Friday, warning that such conflict pitting the NATO alliance against the Kremlin “is World War III.”
“We will not fight a war against Russia in Ukraine,” Biden said in a speech at the White House, refuting increasingly desperate calls from Kyiv for NATO to intervene against the Russian assault.
On February 24, Russian forces launched military operations in Ukraine, three days after Moscow recognised Ukraine’s breakaway regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – as independent entities.
“We’re going to continue to stand together with our allies in Europe and send an unmistakable message. We’ll defend every single inch of NATO territory with the full might of the United States and galvanise NATO”.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is a group of 30 North American and European nations. According to NATO, its purpose “is to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means.” Biden said Russia would never be able to gain victory in Ukraine.
“He (Russian President Vladimir Putin) hoped to dominate Ukraine without a fight, he failed,” Biden said, adding that Putin also failed in his alleged attempt to fracture and weaken the transatlantic alliance.
The president’s comments were his starkest warning yet as some experts and journalists have asked what type of Russian escalation might trigger a U.S. military response.
Some lawmakers have pushed for establishing a no-fly zone over Ukraine, something White House officials have ruled out because it would involve U.S. and allied forces potentially shooting down Russian planes in Ukrainian airspace.
And multiple reporters have asked in recent days whether the use of chemical weapons by Russia would trigger a U.S. military response.
But Biden and his team have been consistent that they have no intention of sending American forces into Ukraine to fight Russia, warning that doing so would likely lead to a protracted and potentially global war with another nuclear power.
(With inputs from agencies)