NATO-Russia clash would trigger 'World War III', warns Biden
US President Joe Biden on Friday vowed that Russia would pay a "severe price" if it used chemical weapons in Ukraine, while also pledging to avoid provoking Moscow into "World War III."
He said he has moved 12,000 troops along the borders with Russia, such as Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Romania while asserting that Vladimir Putin will not be victorious in the war he has waged against Ukraine.
Addressing members of the House Democratic Caucus on Friday, Biden stressed over "not fighting a third World War in Ukraine" but avowed sending an "unmistakable message that we will defend every inch of NATO territory".
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is a group of 30 North American and European nations. According to NATO, its purpose "is to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means."
Biden said the people of Ukraine have demonstrated remarkable bravery and courage in the face of a Russian military offensive but the security assistance that the US provides has been critical in their defence.
"And as we provide support to Ukraine, we're going to continue to stand together with our allies in Europe and send an unmistakable message that we will defend every inch of NATO territory with a united galvanized NATO," the US president said.
"That's why I've moved 12,000 American forces along the borders with Russia -- Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Romania et cetra... Granted, if we respond, it is World War three. But we have a sacred obligation on NATO territory... although we will not fight a third World War in Ukraine."
On February 24, Russian forces launched military operations in Ukraine, three days after Moscow recognised Ukraine's breakaway regions -- Donetsk and Luhansk -- as independent entities.
"The idea that we're going to send in offensive equipment and have planes and tanks and trains going in with American pilots and American crews, just understand -- and don't kid yourself, no matter what you all say -- that's called World War Three," he said.
The US president said that he spent hours the alliance together -- the EU, NATO and including all those in Asia.
"As a result, we've been able to ramp up our economic pressure on Putin and further isolate Russia on the global stage," he said.
Biden said the G7 nations -- Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States -- made a move to remove the favoured nation status for Russia.
He claimed that as a result of the US-led sanctions, the economy of Russia is badly impacted.
"The totality of our economic sanctions and export controls are crushing the Russian economy. The Ruble has lost more than half its value."
"Moscow Stock Exchange is closed... why is it closed? Because the moment it opens, it will be disbanded. Credit rating agencies have downgraded Russia's government to junk status," Biden said.
He said that democracies are rising to the moment rallying the world for peace and security. "We are showing strength and we will never falter. Putin's war against Ukraine will never be a victory."
"I want to thank you for showing a unified front to the world. When Putin unleashed his assault, he thought he could divide NATO.
"He thought he could divide this country in terms of the parties. He thought he could divide Democrats and Republicans at home, but he failed," Biden told the members of the House Democratic Caucus.