President Joe Biden warned the American people that any conflict over Ukraine with Russia would not be “painless” at home either, particularly when it comes to energy prices, although he said his administration is taking active steps to prevent any disruption.
“To be clear, if Russia decides to invade, that would also have consequences here at home. But the American people understand that defending democracy and liberty is never without cost,” Biden said. “I will not pretend this will be painless. There could be impact on our energy prices, so we’re taking active steps to alleviate the pressure on our own energy markets and offset raising prices,” he added.
The president went on to explain why he felt the situation justifies US involvement, saying that “this is about more than just Russia and Ukraine.”
“It’s about standing for what we believe in, for the future that we want for our world, for liberty, for liberty, the right of countless countries to choose their own destiny. And the right of people to determine their own futures, or the principle that a country cannot change its neighbor’s borders by force, “Biden said. “If we do not stand for freedom where it is at risk today, we’ll surely pay a steeper price tomorrow.”
Biden also reiterated his administration’s call for all Americans to depart Ukraine “now – before it’s too late to leave safely,” and speaking directly to the Russian people, said they were “not the enemy.”
“I do not believe you want a bloody destructive war and Ukraine, a country and people with whom you share deep ties of family, history and culture,” he said.
-ABC News’ Molly Nagle and Sarah Kolinovsky
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