United States President Joe Biden urged Russia to step back from the brink of war on Tuesday and said reports that Russia has withdrawn some forces from the Ukraine border have not been verified.
“To the citizens of Russia: you are not our enemy, and I don’t believe you want a bloody, destructive war against Ukraine," Biden said in nationally televised remarks from the White House.
Biden said the U.S. is "not seeking direct confrontation with Russia" but that if Russia were to attack Americans in Ukraine, "We will respond forcefully."
Biden said the U.S. and its NATO allies are prepared for whatever happens and that Russia will pay a steep economic price if Moscow launches an invasion.
He said a Russian attack on Ukraine remains a possibility and reports that some Russian forces have moved away from the Ukraine border have not yet been verified by Washington.
"We are ready to respond decisively to a Russian attack on Ukraine, which remains very much a possibility," Biden.
"Nord Stream 2 will not happen if Russia further invades Ukraine. We will put long-term sanctions on Russia if it moves in direction of invasion," the U.S. president also warned.