Pentagon Says Russia Could Invade Ukraine At Any Time
PENTAGON - The Pentagon stated Sunday that Russia could invade Ukraine at any time and says that Putin 'has a lot of options available to him' and 'could execute some of those options imminently'.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said "Putin has a lot of options available to him if he wants to further invade Ukraine, and he can execute some of those options imminently".
When Kirby was asked what he meant by 'imminently' he stated "imminent means it could happen, really, honestly, at any time". He then said that what exactly 'it is' depends on what Putin decides to do.
Kirby then reiterated what Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had said, saying that Russia has 'a lot of capability available' to carry out large or small-scale actions.
"It doesn’t have to come to conflict. We still believe there’s room and space for diplomacy, and we’d like to see that be the solution here" Kirby stated.
Kirby was then asked if the United States could, or should be more specific when it comes to sanctions against Russia, such as naming which banks would be affected by the sanctions, Kirby replied that the US has been "very clear about the economic consequences that can come his way and the way of the Russian people should he further incur and invade inside Ukraine".
Kirby also said that using up the sanctions option too early would weaken the effectiveness of sanctions saying "One of the things about sanctions is once you trip that, then the deterrent effect is lost".
Kirby said that the United States is "sanctions and economic consequences the likes of which we have not looked at before or even considered even as far back as 2014".
Kirby said that economic sanctions are not the only options available to the United States saying "One of the last things they want is a strong and bolstered NATO on their western flank and if he does another invasion inside Ukraine that’s exactly what they’re going to get".
"You’re going to see the United States and our NATO allies bolster our capabilities on the eastern flank of the alliance".