The United States and Western countries sought to project unity and a tough stance over Ukraine on Thursday after U.S. President Joe Biden suggested allies were split over how to react to any potential “minor incursion” from Russia.
Biden rowed back on his comments, made during a Wednesday news conference, saying on Thursday that “I have been absolutely clear with President (Vladimir) Putin, he has no misunderstanding. If any, any assembled Russian units move across the Ukrainian border that is an invasion”.
Such an invasion would be met by a “severe and coordinated response, economic response as discussed in details with our allies, as laid out very clearly with President Putin,” Biden told reporters.
His remarks echoed efforts from other members of the administration earlier on Thursday and late on Wednesday, as the White House sought to scotch any suggestion that a smaller-scale Russian military incursion would meet a weaker U.S. response.