Pentagon press secretary John Kirby agreed with the Biden administration’s strategy of using the threat of sanctions as a deterrent and rejected calls for increased sanctions in advance. invasion, saying, “[Russian President Vladimir Putin] has yet to launch another invasion of Ukraine, and we think there is still time to prevent that. “
“It’s seen as a deterrent. If you’re punishing someone for something they haven’t done, they might as well go ahead and do it,” Kirby added. “And we hope that might influence Mr. Putin’s calculus.”
Kirby said on “Fox News Sunday” that Putin still has many options if he chooses to go diplomatic over the tensions, saying, “We’ve made serious proposals and talked about changing change, for example, the scope and scale of some of our exercises in Europe, ready to talk about missile strike capabilities in Europe. trying to convince Mr. Putin that we’re serious.”
Kirby made it clear the issue of Ukraine becoming a NATO member, however, is “a matter for Ukraine and NATO. It’s not something Mr. Putin can simply veto or decide on his own, it’s something that Mr. that’s between the alliance and Ukraine.”
Some context: Kirby wouldn’t address Putin’s individual claims, but he described them as “outrageous statements” and said as a whole, “these statements are unreliable.”
He said that Putin was “playing the victim”, which he correctly said was outside the “Russian playbook”.
“It’s absolutely true in Russian books. He can move X and Os around the field right now militarily, but it looks like he’s using the same old book,” said Kirby, and added, “And I don’t want to make this analogy. This is not a football game. This could be war and lives are at stake here.”