During a press conference at the White House Wednesday, President Joe Biden indicated a "minor incursion" by Russia into the sovereign country of Ukraine would be acceptable.
"I think what you're going to see is that Russia will be held accountable if it invades. And it depends on what it does. It's one thing if it's a minor incursion and then we end up having a fight about what to do and not do, et cetera," Biden said.
Immediately after Biden left the lectern, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki sent out a statement attempting to clarify.
"President Biden has been clear with the Russian President: If any Russian military forces move across the Ukrainian border, that's a renewed invasion, and it will be met with a swift, severe, and united response from the United States and our Allies," she said. "President Biden also knows from long experience that the Russians have an extensive playbook of aggression short of military action, including cyberattacks and paramilitary tactics. And he affirmed today that those acts of Russian aggression will be met with a decisive, reciprocal, and united response."
Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky weighed in and reminded Biden there is no such thing as a minor incursion.
We want to remind the great powers that there are no minor incursions and small nations. Just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones. I say this as the President of a great power ????— ????????? ?????????? (@ZelenskyyUa) January 20, 2022
Biden was asked about Zelensky's response before an event Thursday and waved it off.
REPORTER: "Have you heard the Ukrainian president's comments that 'there are no minor incursions'?"— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 20, 2022
BIDEN: ........................................ pic.twitter.com/0IhsUhYhUH