President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that Russia’s repeated attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine were an attempt by Russian President Vladimir Putin to force the Ukrainians to capitulate — and it will fail.
He was asked about Putin’s latest move, declaring martial law in four annexed Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia, in the latest attempt to use force to impose order and control.
It followed days of ramped-up bombing of apartment buildings and other civilian targets, as well as infrastructure from which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has cut power to a third of his country.
“I think Vladimir Putin is in an incredibly difficult position,” Biden told reporters, pausing to organize his thoughts while holding a folder of materials.
Russia’s repeated bombings in Ukraine are part of an effort to “intimidate” the people there into trying to force their capitulation, President Biden said at the White House on Wednesday.
And what it reflects to me is that it seems like his only tool at his disposal is to brutalize individual citizens in Ukraine, Ukrainian citizens, to try to intimidate them into capitulation. They’re not going to do that.’
Biden then concluded his remarks at a Roosevelt Room event to discuss oil spills from a strategic US reserve, which were intended, in part, to counteract the effects of the war in Ukraine.
“That’s why I’ve done everything in my power to lower gas prices since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine caused these price hikes, which caused these prices to spike and rattle international oil markets,” Biden said.
When he walked away from the event, he declined to respond to a question about meeting Putin at the upcoming G20 summit in Indonesia.
That followed reports that the government is ruling out a private meeting between the two leaders, as Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine continues to drive the countries apart.
Putin said regional governors in the regions, who were removed from Ukraine after referendums under armed occupation that the US and allies labeled a “sham” would be given emergency powers to impose order.
“We are working to solve very difficult large-scale tasks to ensure the security and secure future of Russia, to protect our people,” Putin said in televised comments.
Biden paused before reflecting on the war in Ukraine when asked about Putin’s move to declare martial law in annexed territories
“Those who are on the front lines or training at shooting ranges and training centers should feel our support and know that they have our great, great country and united people behind them.”
The government has never discussed the chance of a meeting, even after Putin, who has called Biden a “war criminal,” indicated he intended to attend.
Biden last week kept alive the possibility of a narrow-minded conversation, in comments that made it clear he had no intention of opening a wider discussion about the war, following Putin’s repeated remarks about the attack on the US and the relentless bombing of civilians. in Ukraine.
“Look, I’m not going to meet him, but look, if he came up to me at the G20 and said, ‘I want to talk about the release of [detained American Brittney] Griner, “I would meet him, but that would depend,” Biden said.
Now officials go so far as to say they want to discourage even an informal “side meeting” with Putin. Politics reported.
US officials have “ruled out” a formal meeting with Putin and are “taking steps” to ensure they don’t bump into each other in a hallway or take the typical “family photo.”
Putin himself sounded bearish about the odds as his military unleashed a wave of drone and missile attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine, which was repeatedly condemned by the West.
The Russian leader said Friday that it was “not necessary” to meet Biden and that his own presence was “not final”.
Russia continues to hit civilian targets in Ukraine
The government is working to prevent even a “sideline” meeting between the president and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the upcoming G20 summit in Bali, as Russia’s war on Ukraine rages on. The two men met in a Geneva villa in June at the beginning of Biden’s presidency
Biden has called Putin a “murderous dictator” as well as a “pure thug” and a “murderer” but previously kept alive the opportunity to talk to him about the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner
Indonesia announced Putin’s plans to attend
Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky, whose country is not a member of the G20, said he would attend if Putin did.
Firefighters carry out work following a Russian attack targeting energy infrastructure in Kiev, Ukraine on Oct. 18, 2022. Russia’s strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure continue, causing destruction of 30% of the country’s power plants since Oct. 10, Ukraine’s president said Volodymyr Zelensky Tuesday
Ukraine and US have blown up what multiple videos and images reveal as Russia’s use of Iran-made drones
Biden is likely already meeting one dictator he has called a top US competitor: China’s Xi Jinping, who will secure a third term at the Chinese Communist Party’s National Congress in Beijing after a decade in Beijing. current.
Biden said last month that he was open to meeting Xi. The two men spoke by phone in March, when the president warned Beijing that there would be repercussions if it supported the Russian invasion, and again in July.
Biden has called Putin a “murderous dictator,” as well as a “pure criminal” and a “murderer.”
Biden hasn’t put many miles on his last personal encounter with an autocratic ruler. He took political blows last summer for his “fist thrust” with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, but the Saudis outraged the government when OPEC+ voted to cut oil production — a move that will help Putin fund his war and lower oil prices weeks before the American elections.
Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, whose country is hosting the summit, invited Putin and traveled to Moscow in June to deliver the invitation in person.
At the urging of the US and other leaders, Ukrainian President Volodymr also invited Zelensky, whose nation is not a member. Zelensky said he would be there if Putin does.