US President, Joe Biden has warned that Russia will pay a “severe price” if the country uses chemical weapons in Ukraine.
His warning comes after White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday, March 9 that Russia could use chemical weapons in Ukraine or manufacture a “false flag” operation that uses them.
Reacting to what she called false claims from Russia that the US is developing chemical weapons in Ukraine, she tweeted, “Now that Russia has made these false claims, and China has seemingly endorsed this propaganda, 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.”
She also noted Russia’s “long and well-documented track record of using chemical weapons” as well as its pattern of “accusing the West of the very violations that Russia itself is perpetrating.”
The US government has in the past said that the Russian government used chemical weapons in both the 2020 poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny and in 2018 against Sergei and Yulia Skripal in England.
“I’m not going to speak about the intelligence, but Russia will pay a severe price if they use chemicals,” Biden told CNN’s Arlette Saenz on Friday.
Additionally, the US has said that Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, whose regime is supported by Russia, has used chemical weapons on its people dozens of times during the war there.
When asked about her tweets, Psaki said;.
“Well, they have a large biological and chemical weapons program. So it’s a pattern, but they also have the capacity. While I’m not going to get into specific intelligence, we look at all of those factors,” Psaki told reporters.
She continued, “So the objective (of the tweets) was to make clear the inaccuracy of the information and the misinformation they’re trying to put out and make clear to the world that they not only have the capacity, they have a history of using chemical and biological weapons, and that in this moment, we should have our eyes open for that possibility.”