Biden Says Alternative to Massive Sanctions Against Russia Over Ukraine is 'Third World War'
17:56 GMT 26.02.2022 (Updated: 19:03 GMT 26.02.2022)
© AP Photo / Charlie RiedelThe warhead-containing nose cone of an inert Minuteman 3 missile is seen in a training launch tube at Minot Air Force Base, N.D.
© AP Photo / Charlie Riedel
The United States and its allies have leveled a host of sanctions against Russian officials, businessmen, banks and entire economic sectors over Moscow's ongoing military operation in Ukraine, characterized by Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "special military operation."
The only alternative to sanctioning Russia to punish it for its "invasion" of Ukraine would be the start of a "Third World War," US President Joe Biden has said.
"You have two options. Start a Third World War, go to war with Russia, physically. Or two, make sure that the country that acts so contrary to international law ends up paying a price for having done it," Biden said in an interview with podcaster Brian Tyler Cohen.
"There's no sanction that is immediate. It's not like you can sanction someone and say you no longer are gonna be able to be uh, the president of [laughs] Russia. But I think these sanctions, I know these sanctions are the broadest sanctions in history, and economic sanctions and political sanctions," Biden said.
Biden said his "goal from the very beginning" was to keep NATO and the European Union "on the same page."
"Because the one thing I think Putin thought he could do was split NATO, creating a big aperture for him to be able to walk through. And that hasn't happened if you noticed. It's been complete unanimity. And Russia will pay a serious price for this short term and long term, particularly long term," Biden said.
Commenting on US unity with its European and Asian allies and the growing security partnership between NATO and Finland and Sweden, Biden suggested that Putin was "producing the exact opposite effect that he intended."
"All I know is that we have to stay the course with the rest of our allies. And in the meantime, we're supplying defensive weaponry and economic assistance to Ukraine," Biden said.
Russia began a military operation in Ukraine on Thursday together with its Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republic allies aimed at "demilitarising and denazifying" the country. "The purpose of this operation is to protect people who, for eight years now, have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kiev regime," Putin said.
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