Vice President Harris said the world faced “the real possibility of war in Europe”.
Harris said the Biden administration is still aiming for a “diplomatic end to this moment.”
Biden Friday noted he was “convinced” that Vladimir Putin had made the decision to invade Ukraine.
Vice President Kamala Harris acknowledged on Sunday that the world faces “the real possibility of war in Europe”, while saying that the United States could “incur costs” if Russia decides to invade the Ukraine.
At the annual Munich security conference in Germany, Harris sought to impress upon US allies that the deteriorating situation on the Ukraine-Russia border signaled that European security was under threat, while adding that sanctions would have to be imposed on the Kremlin if it invaded its neighbour.
“We’re talking about the potential for war in Europe. I mean, let’s really take a moment to understand the significance of what we’re talking about,” she told reporters in Munich.
She continued: “It’s been over 70 years, and in those 70 years… there has been peace and security. We’re talking about the real possibility of war in Europe.”
President Joe Biden has scheduled a meeting with his national security team on Sunday to review the situation, with Harris expected to join the group upon his return from Germany.
Before leaving the conference, the vice president spoke with Biden’s team about her meetings and conversations at the event, according to the Associated Press.
Biden at a Friday press conference at the White House noted he was “convinced” that Russian President Vladimir Putin had made the decision to invade Ukraine.
“We believe they will target Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, a city of 2.8 million innocent people,” the president said. “We loudly call out Russia’s plans, repeatedly, not because we want conflict, but because we are doing everything in our power to suppress any reason Russia might give to justify the invasion of Ukraine and prevent them from moving.”
Biden is expected to host a virtual meeting with G7 leaders on Thursday regarding the situation in Ukraine, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov set to meet later this week on the condition that Russia does not invade. the country.
Harris noted that the administration is still aiming for a “diplomatic end to this moment.”
He was then asked how Americans should prepare if war in Europe becomes a reality.
“When America stands up for its principles and all the things we hold dear, it sometimes forces us to present ourselves in a way that perhaps will come at a cost,” the vice president said. “In this situation, it may be related to energy costs. But we are taking very specific and appropriate steps, I believe, to mitigate what that cost could be if it happened.”
Harris also reiterated her support for sanctions against Russia if the country invades Ukraine after being asked about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s desire for preemptive sanctions.
“We don’t need your sanctions after the bombing happens, and after our country is fired or after we have no borders or after we have no economy or parts of our country will be occupied,” Zelensky said at the conference regarding potential sanctions after the invasion.
The Vice President said: “I strongly believe and also remember that sanctions are the product of not just our perspective as the United States, but a shared perspective among our allies, and the allied relationship is such that we have agreed that the deterrent effect of these sanctions is still significant.”
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