White House reacts to Russia’s decision to put deterrent forces on high alert

“It is truly a pattern that we have seen from President Putin throughout this conflict, who fabricates threats that do not exist in order to justify further aggression – and the global community and the American people should be there. think through that prism,” Psaki told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “This Week.”

Additionally, a senior administration official told CNN on Sunday that Putin’s decision was “another step of escalation and totally unnecessary,” a senior administration official said Sunday.

“At every stage of this conflict, Putin has fabricated threats to justify more aggressive actions – he has never been threatened by Ukraine or by NATO, which is a defensive alliance that will not fight in Ukraine,” the manager said.

“The only reason his forces face a threat today is because they invaded a sovereign, nuclear-free country. This is yet another escalating step and totally unnecessary,” they said. they added.

Putin’s decision comes amid universal condemnation from Western powers for Moscow’s unprovoked assault on Ukraine, which is now in its fourth day.

“Senior officials of the main NATO countries have allowed themselves to make aggressive comments about our country, which is why I hereby order the Minister of Defense and the Chief of the General Staff to place the Russian Army Deterrent Force on combat alert,” Putin said in a TV broadcast. meeting with senior Russian defense officials.

Putin also said Western sanctions imposed on Russia were illegal.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield also called Putin’s actions on Sunday an unnecessary escalation, telling CBS News that he “continues to escalate this war in a completely unacceptable way.” .

“We must continue to condemn his actions in the strongest possible way,” she told CBS News. “Putin has tried every way possible to really strike fear into the world in terms of his action, and that just means we need to step up our efforts here at the United Nations and elsewhere to hold him accountable.”

US will not use US troops to create no-fly zone in Ukraine, says UN ambassador

Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, meanwhile, touted Putin’s decision as “one more example of Russia’s terrorist behavior,” telling CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday about “the state of Union” that Russian forces “attacked our country, they scare everyone.”

And NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called Putin’s allegations against NATO “dangerous rhetoric”, adding that “this is irresponsible behavior”.

“The new statements by President Putin only add to the very aggressive rhetoric that we have seen from Russia for many months, and in particular in the past two weeks, where they threaten not only Ukraine, but also threaten NATO allies,” he told Bash. earlier on the same program.

This story was updated with additional details on Sunday.

CNN’s Tim Lister, Ivana Kottasová, Julia Hollingsworth and Laura Smith-Spark contributed to this report.


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