WASHINGTON — President Biden said Wednesday that putting additional U.S. troops on the ground in Ukraine is “not on the table” a day after warning Russian President Vladimir Putin in a video call that he would face severe economic sanctions if he mounts an invasion.

“I made very clear if in fact he invades Ukraine, there will be severe consequences, severe consequences, economic consequences like ones he’s never seen,” Biden told reporters as he left the White House en route to an event in Kansas City. “His immediate response was he understood that.”

Biden said an invasion would also lead to an increased U.S. presence in NATO countries in the region, but added that the United States would not unilaterally take military action against Russia in response.

Asked by a reporter whether putting in ground troops is an option, Biden said, “That is not on the table.”

“We have a moral obligation and a legal obligation to our NATO allies” to respond if they are attacked, Biden said. “That obligation does not extend to … Ukraine.”

If there were an invasion of Ukraine, which is not a NATO member, Biden said the United States would certainly confer with NATO allies about a coordinated response.

But, he added: “The idea that the United States is going to unilaterally use force to confront Russia invading Ukraine is not in the cards right now.”

The United States already has troops in Ukraine for training purposes, so Biden was probably referring to combat troops.

Overall, Biden characterized his video call with Putin has “very straightforward” and said he did “not mince words.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.