President Joe Biden assured the world during a press conference on Thursday that NATO would respond if Russian President Vladimir Putin used chemical weapons in Ukraine.
“It would trigger a response in kind,” Biden replied when asked by reporters if Putin using chemical weapons would prompt NATO to act. “The nature of the response would depend on the nature of the use.”
But the president hesitated to say what exactly the response would be.
“Whether or not you’re asking whether NATO would cross… we would make that decision at the time,” he said, hesitating in his response.
The White House has resisted saying the use of chemical weapons would be a “red line” for the United States after former President Barack Obama famously failed to act after promising to do so in Syria.
Biden admitted during his press conference that sanctions were not a deterrent to Putin but wanted to extract as much economic pain as possible on Russia for invading.
The president boasted of his foreign policy experience after meeting with European leaders and leaders of the NATO alliance.
“I’ve been dealing with foreign policy longer than anybody that’s involved with this process right now,” he said.
Biden has repeatedly warned that Putin would likely use chemical weapons but declined to share any intelligence to prove the threat.
“I think it’s a real threat,” he said as he left the White House for his trip to Europe.