White House Stops Calling Ukraine Invasion ‘Imminent,’ Says Putin’s Decision Remains Unknown
21:02 GMT 02.02.2022 (Updated: 13:28 GMT 06.08.2022)
© REUTERS / General Staff of the Armed ForceTanks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are seen during drills at an unknown location near the border of Crimea, Russia, in this handout picture released by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine press service on 14 April 2021.
© REUTERS / General Staff of the Armed Force
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Biden administration recently stopped using the word "imminent" to describe the possibility of a Russian "invasion" of Ukraine because they are unsure whether Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to attack, the White House revealed on Wednesday.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki remarked during the Wednesday briefing that the usage of "imminent" was sending out a "message" the Biden administration was not "intending to send."
"I used that [word] once, I think others have used that once, and then we stopped using it because I think it sends a message that we weren’t intending to send, which was that we knew that President Putin had made a decision," Psaki told reporters. "I would say the vast majority of times I’ve talked about it we said he could invade at any time. That’s true. We still don’t know that he’s made a decision."
"I think I used it once last week. I haven’t in over a week," she said of her own use of the term.
31 January 2022, 15:34 GMT
Ned Price, who serves as the spokesperson for the US State Department, also weighed in on the Biden administration's sudden change in terminology during his Wednesday briefing. Asked about whether there were concerns regarding the use of "imminent," Price sidestepped the question and instead relayed that American officials have been working to "explain our concern."
The briefing also saw Price note that criminologists would be sifting through "every single word, every utterance, every sentence that came out of Putin’s mouth" during his Tuesday remarks on the border.
Biden: Troop Deployment 'Totally Consistent' With Remarks to Putin
US President Joe Biden told CNN on Wednesday that his decision to deploy several thousand more troops to Europe over the Ukraine crisis is "totally consistent" with that he has told his Russian counterpart.
According to CNN correspondent Kaitlan Collins, Biden told her that his order is "totally consistent" with that he has told Putin since the beginning.
"As long as he’s acting aggressively, we are going to make sure we reassure our NATO allies in Eastern Europe that we’re there and Article 5 is a sacred obligation," he said, as quoted by the reporter.
Earlier in the day, the Pentagon announced the extra US forces would deploy to Poland, Germany, and Romania in the next few days. At the time, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby revealed to reporters that the move effectively demonstrated the US' commitment to its NATO allies.
"The current situation demands that we reinforce the deterrent and defensive posture on NATO's eastern flank," Kirby said. "President [Joe] Biden has been clear that the United States will respond to the growing threat to Europe's security and stability. Our commitment to NATO Article Five and collective defense remains ironclad."
The latest development came on the heels of past reports that saw Kirby announce that some 8,500 US soldiers were placed on a "heightened alert" status for deployment to Eastern Europe and the Baltic States amid ongoing tensions.
Russia has repeatedly denied US allegations of prepping an invasion of Ukraine, and has criticized NATO's provocative military buildup in the region.
Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov in January urged officials and media to reduce tensions since it is not completely clear that there is any reason for panic.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy likewise said in January that he sees the current escalation of tensions as no worse than it was before and believes that the severity of the situation is being exaggerated.