The White House is standing firm on its opposition to a war with Russia, even after President Biden and other members of his administration referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a «war criminal» and insisted he «should be held accountable» for the atrocities out of Ukraine.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that it is not in the «interest» of the United States to go to «war with Russia» after she was asked how the attacks and images out of Ukraine do not «compel» a military response led by the U.S. and its partners.
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«I think what the president’s objective is, and his responsibility is to make decisions that are in the interest of the United States and the national security of the United States and the American people,» Psaki said. «And that is not to go to war with Russia.»
«It is to do everything in our power to hold them accountable, to support efforts through international systems to do exactly that, and to provide military assistance, security assistance and support to the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian government,» she added. «That’s exactly what we’re doing. It is not in our interest, or in the interest of the American people, for us to be in a war with Russia.»
President Biden on Monday called for an «actual war crime trial» as evidence of atrocities committed against Ukrainian civilians in Bucha emerged over the weekend but denied that the attacks amounted to a «genocide.»
Ukrainian officials said the bodies of 410 civilians were found in Kyiv-area towns and cities that were recently retaken from Russian forces. In Bucha, alone, more than 100 civilians were found buried in mass graves.
«He is a war criminal,» Biden said of Putin, vowing that the United States will «continue to provide Ukraine with weapons they need to continue to fight.» Biden also said the United States needs to «get all the detail so this can be an actual war crime trial.»
Last month, while defending the White House’s opposition to a no-fly zone over Ukraine, Psaki said the Biden administration is «not interested in getting into World War III.»
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this article.