President Joe Biden during Wednesday’s speech at the United Nations headquarters targeted Russia over its invasion of Ukraine as well as a recent Kremlin announcement to mobilize hundreds of thousands of more troops.
“Ukraine has the same rights that belong to every sovereign nation. We will stand in solidarity with Ukraine. We will stand in solidarity against Russian aggression,” Biden told an audience at the U.N. building in New York City.
Biden also mentioned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent comments to deploy more troops as well as his veiled warning about nuclear weapons by saying that United States is “not seeking a new Cold War” with Russia.
While there were few new details provided in the speech, Biden asserted the conflict is about ending “Ukraine’s right to exist as a state, plain and simple, Ukraine’s right to exist as a people. Wherever you are, whatever you believe, that should … make your blood run cold.”
Putin on Wednesday morning ordered a partial mobilization of reservists nearly seven months after invading Ukraine in a move that sent some Russians scrambling to buy plane tickets out of the country and reportedly sparked some demonstrations.
In his seven-minute nationally televised address, Putin warned the West he isn’t bluffing over using everything at his disposal to protect Russia—an apparent reference to his nuclear arsenal. He has previously told the West not to back Russia against the wall and has rebuked NATO countries for supplying weapons to Ukraine.
The total number of reservists to be called up could be as high as 300,000, officials said.
In his address, the Russian leader accused the West of engaging in “nuclear blackmail” and noted “statements of some high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO states about the possibility of using nuclear weapons of mass destruction against Russia.
“To those who allow themselves such statements regarding Russia, I want to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction … and when the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, to protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal,” Putin said, adding: “It’s not a bluff.”
Other than Biden, several Western leaders claimed Putin’s speech represented an escalation in the conflict.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told Reuters editor-in-chief Alessandra Galloni in New York City that Russian officials know “very well that a nuclear war should never be fought and cannot be won and it will have unprecedented consequences for Russia.”
Since the war began on Feb. 24, the United States has provided Ukraine’s government with well over $50 billion in aid, including billions in military assistance.
Earlier this month, the White House submitted to Congress a request for $12 billion more in aid to Ukraine as well as $2 billion more to shore up U.S. energy supplies to offset war-related impacts on the global energy market. The State Department last week, meanwhile, announced another $600 million in military aid will be sent to the country, according to a statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times