US President Joe Biden said on Monday it was “obvious” that Russia was considering the use of chemical and biological weapons in Ukraine, warning that such a move would prompt a “tough” Western response.
“He’s behind the wall,” Biden said of Russian President Vladimir Putin, noting that Moscow had recently accused the United States of having chemical and biological weapons in Europe. “This is just a mistake. He insisted during a meeting with American business leaders in Washington.
They (the Russians) also claim that Ukraine has chemical and biological weapons in Ukraine. This is a clear sign that he (Vladimir Putin) is planning to use both types of weapons.
And so the US president repeated his warning, issued earlier this month after Russian officials accused Ukraine of trying to hide a supposed Washington-backed chemical weapons program.
“Now that Russia has made its false accusations and China appears to be embracing this propaganda, we must monitor any potential Russian use of chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine,” White House spokeswoman Jen warned.
On Monday, Joe Biden reiterated that using such weapons would expose Moscow to “heavy” retaliation from Western powers, without specifying their nature.
He warned that Vladimir Putin “knows that there will be serious consequences because of the united front of NATO,” without elaborating.
Mr. Biden also confirmed that he had warned his Russian counterpart of a strong US response in the event of cyber attacks against critical US infrastructure.
“We had a long conversation about the consequences if he participated” in cyber attacks, the US president said, referring to a summit with his Russian counterpart last year in Geneva.