'There are no minor incursions' pleads Ukraine leader after Biden remarks

# 20 January 2022 21:11 (UTC +04:00)

Western countries sought to project unity over Ukraine on Thursday, after U.S. President Joe Biden suggested allies were split over how to react to any "minor incursion" from Russia, prompting Kyiv's leader to plead that there was no such thing, APA reports quoting Reuters.

"We want to remind the great powers that there are no minor incursions and small nations. Just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy tweeted in English and Ukrainian, in a clear reference to Biden's remarks.

"I say this as the president of a great power."

Russia has massed tens of thousands of troops on its borders with Ukraine, and Western states fear Moscow is planning a new assault on a country it invaded in 2014. Russia denies it is planning an attack, but says it could take unspecified military action if a list of demands are not met, including a promise from NATO never to admit Kyiv as a member.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Biden said he expected Russian President Vladimir Putin to launch some kind of action, and appeared to suggest Washington and its allies might disagree over the response if Moscow stopped short of a major invasion.

"My guess is he will move in," Biden said. "He has to do something."

"Russia will be held accountable if it invades - and it depends on what it does," Biden said. "It's one thing if it's a minor incursion and we end up having to fight about what to do and what to not do, et cetera," Biden said, adding that an invasion would be a "disaster" for Russia.

Shortly after Biden's news conference ended, the White House rowed back from any suggestion that a smaller-scale Russian military incursion would meet a weaker U.S. response.