President Biden's National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan briefed reporters Tuesday afternoon following the president's virtual meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
As Sullivan explained, President Biden apparently "reiterated U.S. support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity [and] told President Putin directly that if Russia further invades Ukraine, the United States and our European allies would respond with strong economic measures."
Sullivan claimed that Biden was "direct and straightforward with President Putin, as he always is," which ignores the fact that it was Biden who reduced U.S. sanctions on a Russian pipeline project that gave Putin even more power within Europe by allowing Putin greater ability to manipulate energy supplies in order to punish or reward behavior.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan: "President Biden was direct and straightforward with President Putin, as he always is." pic.twitter.com/GiSAZGFhEm— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) December 7, 2021
Nevertheless, Biden's National Security Advisor claimed that the Nord Stream 2 project is "not leverage for Putin" but instead is "leverage for the West," somehow.
"President [Biden] has shown over the course of the past eight months that he will do what he says he's going to do in response to Russian actions," said Sullivan, apparently hoping no one checks Biden's promises during his withdrawal from Afghanistan against the deadly and disorganized reality the world watched unfold at the end of August.
A reporter asks about R criticism of Biden being weak on Nord Stream 2:— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) December 7, 2021
SULLIVAN: "The fact is, that gas is not currently flowing through the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which means that it's not operating, which means that it's not leverage for Putin. It is leverage for the West." pic.twitter.com/iMvuchrYRd
Sullivan also said that following Tuesday's "useful" meeting with Putin, the Biden administration does not "believe that President Putin has made a decision" about whether he would invade Ukraine with the troops and equipment that have already been — and continue to be — amassed at the Russia-Ukraine border.
This, according to Sullivan, gives the Biden administration, President Putin, and other involved parties a window to deescalate the situation, though Sullivan refused to give details about what a "strong response" from the Biden administration would mean for Russia.
When asked whether or not Putin has made up his mind as to if he intends to invade Ukraine, National Security Advisor says:— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) December 7, 2021
"We still do not believe that President Putin has made a decision...we will see in the days ahead...what course of action Russia chooses to take." pic.twitter.com/Nf7TusI4Ge
The Biden administration is also, according to Sullivan, continuing to provide resources to Ukraine to aid their self-defense against Putin's aggression.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan: "We have an ongoing pipeline that delivers various forms of defensive assistance to Ukraine." pic.twitter.com/r90dfZhRTn— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) December 7, 2021