US President Joe Biden has again instructed his citizens in Ukraine to leave the country, noting that a potential confrontation between US and Russian forces could be a “world war.”
In an interview with NBC News, the US President again warned his citizens in Ukraine. “American citizens must leave now,” Biden said.
“It’s not like we’re dealing with a terrorist organization. We’re dealing with one of the largest armies in the world. It’s a very different situation and things can go crazy quickly,” he added.
When asked what scenes might lead him to send troops to rescue Americans leaving the country, Biden said “they are not”.
“It will be a world war when 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 issued a warning that “US citizens cannot be deported if there is a Russian military operation anywhere in Ukraine.”
He explained that in the event of a conflict in Ukraine, the regular embassy service would be “severely affected”.
On Wednesday, the White House approved the Pentagon’s plan for its military stationed in Poland to build temporary shelters and help evacuate U.S. citizens from Ukraine in the event of a Russian invasion.
The US president last week authorized the deployment of 1,700 military personnel to Poland.
Official sources told CNN that the troops, part of the 82nd Air Force, were not authorized to enter Ukraine in the event of a conflict and had no plans to take part in air evacuation operations similar to those in Afghanistan.
But in the coming days, these soldiers will build shelters on the Polish-Ukrainian border, such as tents and other temporary facilities, according to CNN and The Wall Street Journal.
According to US military and intelligence estimates, the Russian military could launch a full-scale offensive with tanks within 48 hours of reaching the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.
Biden further stressed that if Putin were “stupid enough to step down, he would be smart enough not to do anything that could negatively affect American citizens.”
Asked if he had conveyed the idea to the Russian president, Biden replied, “Yes.”
Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Russia of concentrating tens of thousands of troops on the Ukrainian border to re-occupy the country after it annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014.
Russia denies any war intentions, but must reduce the crisis to its demands, including guaranteeing that Ukraine will never be part of NATO.
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