“Statements should avoid hypothetical scenarios that may be a gradation of reactions to various actions by Russia,” Piotr Wawrzyk, deputy head of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MSZ), told the Polish Press Agency (PAP), referring to Wednesday’s statement of the US President. As he pointed out, the most important thing at the moment is the unity within NATO.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Joe Biden expressed the opinion that Russia would probably attack Ukraine and said that the country would pay dearly for a full-scale invasion, but at the same time suggested that the consequences of a “minor incursion” would not be so severe. These words raised uncertainty as to how the West would have reacted if Russia had actually attacked.
“Most important thing is NATO’s unity”
Mr Wawrzyk was asked how the statement should be understood and whether it could potentially encourage Russia to act aggressively towards Ukraine.
The deputy head of the MFA emphasised that the most important thing is the NATO policy of deterrence and the unity of member states in the face of any threat, adding that “any hypothetical scenarios should be avoided, which may be a gradation of reactions to various actions from Russia.”
“Later we had several statements unequivocally stating that the current stance of severe sanctions
would be upheld,” he pointed out.
After Wednesday’s conference, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki explained that any Russian troops crossing the border would meet with a “swift and severe response” from the US and its allies, adding that the President Biden’s words concerned hybrid actions
such as cyber attacks, to which the America’s response would be proportional.