Islam Times 1 Oct 2022 082022000000Sat, 01 Oct 2022 08:17:56 +0330 8:17 https://www.islamtimes.org/en/news/1017090/biden-appears-to-back-off-defense-of-ukraine -------------------------------------------------- Title : Biden Appears to Back Off Defense of Ukraine -------------------------------------------------- Islam Times - US President Joe Biden appears to back off the defense of Ukraine, and draw red line at NATO's border, saying that the United States and NATO would defend "every inch" of its territory if attacked by Russia. Ukraine is not part of NATO. Text : Speaking at the White House on Friday, Biden said the US and NATO will not be intimidated by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin is "not going to scare us," he added. Biden then pointed his finger into the television camera as he warned of Putin against any attack spilling beyond Ukraine onto NATO territory. "America is fully prepared, with our NATO allies, to defend every single inch of NATO territory," he said. "Mr. Putin, don t misunderstand what I m saying: every inch." The US made it clear that this does not include Ukraine. Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Friday that now is the wrong time to consider Kiev’s NATO membership. Biden was speaking shortly after Putin signed a decree for the formal accession of four regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaparozhye to the Russian Federation. Presiding over a signing ceremony with the Russian-installed heads of the four regions in the Kremlin on Friday, Putin announced that people in these regions are now considered Russian citizens as they have made their choice in referendums. The Russian leader stressed that Ukraine has to respect the will of the people, vowing to defend the Russian land with all means. Putin cited the “will of millions of people” shown by the referendums as the determining factor behind the move to join the territories as part of Russia. The development came after people in the four regions overwhelmingly voted in favor of joining the Russian Federation in referendums. Biden called out his Putin s "reckless words and threats" but dismissed Friday s ceremony as a "sham routine that he put on" to show strength, while instead demonstrating that "he s struggling." The Biden administration slapped additional sanctions on Moscow in reaction to the referenda resulting in four territories joining Russia. The departments of Treasury, Commerce, and State each announced separate sanctions intended to target more than a thousand individuals, including decision-makers in Moscow and allies of Putin. The White House national security adviser has said the United States will “respond decisively” if Putin orders the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, while Moscow has advised Washington of its nuclear “red line”. On Friday, Sullivan said Putin resorting to nuclear weapons doesn t appear imminent. "There is a risk, given all the loose talk and nuclear saber-rattling by Putin, that he would consider this and we ve been equally clear about what the consequences would be," Sullivan told reporters at the White House press briefing.