February 24, 2022

‘Putin Chose This War’: Biden Denounces Russia’s Actions in Ukraine

Featuring Richard Fontaine

Source: The New York Times

Journalists Michael D. Shear, Zolan Kanno-Youngs

President Biden on Thursday denounced President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and his “sinister vision for the future of our world,” vowing that Mr. Putin and his country would pay as the United States imposed a new round of economic sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war,” Mr. Biden said in brief remarks from the White House. “And now he and his country will bear the consequences.”

Just hours after Russian missiles and bombs began raining down on Ukraine’s cities, opening the first major land war in Europe in more than 70 years, Mr. Biden lashed out at the Russian leader in language reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s 1983 speech about the Soviet Union, in which the former president decried the “aggressive impulses of an evil empire.”

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Richard Fontaine, the chief executive of the nonpartisan Center for a New American Security and a former foreign policy adviser to Senator John McCain, said “the effort to deter an invasion has failed.” But he added that the economic penalties Mr. Biden announced on Thursday could still be an important tool “by imposing the cost on Putin.”

“What you try to do is at least reduce the appetite he will have for trying to do these kinds of things,” Mr. Fontaine said. “Although I’m skeptical of that too.” He added that Mr. Biden would face a choice in the coming weeks over whether he should support a potential insurgency in Ukraine.

The administration would most likely keep its focus on NATO countries near Ukraine, where Mr. Biden is deploying American troops, Mr. Fontaine said.

Read the full story and more from The New York Times.

Authors

  • Richard Fontaine

    Chief Executive Officer

    Richard Fontaine is the Chief Executive Officer of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). He served as President of CNAS from 2012-19 and as Senior Fellow from 2009-12...