Biden advises Americans in Ukraine to leave the country

President Biden warned Americans in Ukraine to flee before it is too late.

“I think it would be wise to leave the country. I am not talking about our diplomatic corps,” Biden clarified citing the increased threat of a Russian invasion. “I am talking about Americans who are there.”

“I would hate for them to get caught in cross-fire, if in fact they did, and there’s no need for that,” Biden added.

The remarks were part of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s first official visit to Washington Monday where he and Biden met at the White House for a discussion on values and leadership.

The threat posed by Russia was also addressed at length during the joint press conference between the two world leaders.

“If Russia makes a choice to further invade Ukraine, we are jointly ready, and all of NATO is ready,” Biden stated. The coalition, he went on, is ready to “impose swift and severe consequences if Russia violates Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Speaking of any potential moves by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Biden remarked, “I don’t know that he knows what he’s going to do.”

“And I think he has to realize that it would be a gigantic mistake for him to move on Ukraine,” he added. “The impact on Europe and the rest of the world would be devastating, and he would pay a heavy price.”

“We cannot remain silent,” Scholz added after stressing the “military threat” in and “against Ukraine.”

Though 3,000 U.S. troops have already been deployed to NATO allies across eastern Europe and another 8,500 have received standby orders from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Biden attempted to emphasize diplomatic options.

In particular, the leaders were asked about potential action on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

“If Russia invades, that means tanks and troops crossing the border of Ukraine again,” Biden qualified, “then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it”

The president did not say how he would bring “an end to it” only that, “We will. I promise you. We will be able to do that.”

Last year, Biden removed sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that had been imposed by the Trump administration allowing halted construction to resume. Germany relies heavily on the pipeline that was meant to act as leverage against Russia.

In spite of Biden’s warning on the pipeline, Scholz remains confident that Germany will not suffer should the pipeline shut down.

“We have intensively prepared everything to be ready with necessary sanctions if there is military action against Ukraine,” Scholz declared.  Regarding cooperation with the United States, he added, “You can be sure that there won’t be any measures in which we have a different approach. We will act together and will take all necessary steps.”

The current plan to sanction the pipeline and Russian officials comes from a bill proposed in early January introduced by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ). It would only take effect after potential aggressive action taken against Ukraine.

This bill stands as an alternative to a proposal by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) that would place immediate sanctions on the pipeline and would have allowed Congress to overturn a waiver of sanction by the president.

Cruz’s bill did have bipartisan support as Democrat Senators Tammy Baldwin (WI), Mark Kelly (AZ), and Raphael Warnock (GA) voted in favor of the sanctions.  However, the bill failed to attain the 60 votes needed.

Following the joint press conference between Biden and Scholz, Cruz highlighted what he calls Biden’s “weakness and incoherence” on a potential invasion of Ukraine.



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Kevin Haggerty


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