President Biden on Friday warned Russia against using chemical weapons in Ukraine, vowing that the U.S. would respond to such an attack.
“Russia would pay a severe price if it uses chemical weapons,” Mr. Biden told reporters after announcing that the U.S. would revoke Moscow’s “most favored nation” trade status.
The White House this week said they are concerned that Russia may be preparing to use chemical and biological weapons in Ukraine after the Russian Defense Ministry accused Ukraine of possibly planning a false-flag chemical weapon attack.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov on Wednesday claimed Ukraine was preparing to use poisonous substances and then blame Russia for the use of the weapons.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki issued a statement calling Russia’s allegation “preposterous.”
“We should all be on the lookout for Russia to possibly use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, or to create a false-flag operation using them. It’s a clear pattern, and no one should fall for it,” Ms. Psaki said.
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Russia has used chemical weapons in the past, including the poison known as Novichok and Sarin.
On Thursday Ms. Psaki suggested that if Russia used chemical weapons in Ukraine, that would not be a red line sparking a U.S. military response.
“I’m not going to get into red lines from here,” Ms. Psaki said. “I’m not going to get into hypotheticals, but the president’s intention of sending the U.S. military to fight in Ukraine against Russia has not changed.”