US President Joe Biden has once again advised his citizens in Ukraine to leave the country, noting that a possible conflict between US and Russian forces will be a “world war”.
In an interview with NBC News, the US head of state again issued a warning to citizens of his country in Ukraine. “US citizens must leave now,” Biden said.
“It’s not like we’re dealing with a terrorist organization. We’re dealing with one of the biggest armies in the world. It’s a very different situation and things can go crazy fast,” he added.
Asked what scenarios could lead him to send the military to rescue Americans fleeing the country, Biden said that “they don’t exist”.
“This will be a world war when the Americans and Russia start shooting at each other,” he said.
“We are in a very different world than we have ever been,” he added.
On Thursday, the State Department had issued a warning that the United States “will not be able to evacuate US citizens in the event of Russian military action anywhere in Ukraine.” In the event of a conflict in Ukraine, the regular consular service would be “severely impacted”, he explained.
On Wednesday, the White House approved a Pentagon plan for its military deployed in Poland to build temporary shelters and be able to assist US citizens with a possible withdrawal from Ukraine, in the event of an invasion by Russia.
This plan would involve the 1,700 military personnel that the US head of state-authorized to be deployed to Poland last week.
These troops, from the 82nd Airborne Division, are not authorized to enter Ukraine in the event of a conflict, and there are no plans for them to participate in air evacuation operations, such as those that took place in Afghanistan, official sources told CNN.
But in the coming days, these soldiers will build shelters, such as tents and other temporary facilities, on the Polish-Ukrainian border, according to CNN and The Wall Street Journal.
According to a US military and intelligence assessment, the Russian military could launch a full-scale invasion with tanks that could reach the Ukrainian capital Kyiv within 48 hours.
Biden further stressed that if Putin is “foolish enough to step in, he’s smart enough to actually not do anything that could negatively impact American citizens.”
Asked if he conveyed this idea to the Russian head of state, Biden replied that “yes”.
Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Russia of having concentrated tens of thousands of troops on the Ukrainian border to re-invade the country after annexing the Crimean peninsula in 2014.
Russia denies any war intentions, but conditions the de-escalation of the crisis to demands that it says are necessary to guarantee its security, including guarantees that Ukraine will never be part of NATO.
Source: With Agencies