Biden: We do not target Russia and do not seek to destabilize it

US President Joe Biden stressed that the United States does not target Russia and does not seek to destabilize it, and that the Russian people are a friend of the American people.

"The United States agrees with Russia that it is necessary to continue diplomatic efforts for security in Europe," Biden said in a special address on the crisis surrounding Ukraine.

He added, "But we will not sacrifice our basic principles, which include the sovereignty of countries and their right to ally with whomever they want," noting that Washington "has not yet achieved the withdrawal of Russian forces from the Ukrainian borders, and that a Russian attack on Ukraine is still very likely."

He continued, "We are ready to impose harsh sanctions on Russia and we will put pressure on its largest financial and industrial institutions, but the possible new Western sanctions against Russia will hit our country, as well as lead to a rise in fuel prices."

He said, "If Russia commits aggression and chooses the path of invading Ukraine, we will work to condemn this act in the international community, and that economic sanctions will affect the Russian economy so that it will no longer be able to compete."

He added, "We will put pressure on Germany in the "North Stream-2" and the supply of Russian gas to Europe."

He stressed that "the United States will defend any country in NATO with all capabilities, and this principle is sacred to us."

He reiterated that "neither the United States nor NATO have deployed missiles in Ukraine, and they do not plan to do so."

"We reaffirm our readiness for diplomatic cooperation with Russia in bringing stability and security to all of Europe," he added.

"For a few weeks, we have been in contact with our allies and partners in nonstop diplomacy, and recently, I spoke on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin to make it clear to him that we are ready to continue diplomacy at the highest levels to achieve a written understanding between Russia, the United States and the countries of Europe," he said.

He continued, "The United States agrees with Russia on the need to continue diplomatic security efforts in Europe. They have security concerns.. Putin and I agreed that our experts on both sides should continue to work with our European partners to achieve this goal".

He concluded by saying: "Yesterday, the Russian authorities announced their readiness to continue diplomacy, and I share this position. Diplomacy must be given all chances of success".

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