President Joe Biden assured the world at a press conference on Thursday that NATO would respond if Russian President Vladimir Putin used chemical weapons in Ukraine.
“That would trigger an in-kind response,” Biden replied when asked by reporters whether Putin using chemical weapons would prompt NATO to act. “The nature of the response would depend on the nature of the use.”
But the president was reluctant to say what exactly the answer would be.
“Whether or not you ask if NATO would cross…we would make that decision then,” he said, hesitating in his response.
The White House resisted the idea that the use of chemical weapons would be a “red line” for the United States after former President Barack Obama failed to act after promising to do so in Syria.
Biden admitted at his press conference that the sanctions were not a deterrent to Putin, but that he wanted to inflict as much economic pain as possible on Russia for its invasion.
The president boasted of his experience in foreign policy after meeting with European leaders and leaders of the NATO alliance.
“I’ve been in foreign policy longer than anyone involved in this process right now,” he said.
Biden has repeatedly warned that Putin is likely to use chemical weapons, but has refused to share intelligence to prove the threat.
“I think that’s a real threat,” he said as he left the White House for his trip to Europe.