Biden calls Putin a ‘war criminal,’ sending more weapons to Ukraine

Source: Reuters News

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about Russia’s war in Ukraine and assistance being provided to Ukraine by the U.S., at the White House in Washington – Reuters news

WASHINGTON, March 16 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden on Wednesday said Russian President Vladimir Putin “is a war criminal” for attacking Ukraine and announced an additional $800 million in security assistance including weapons to take down Russian planes and tanks.

In an exchange with a reporter at the White House, Biden said, “Oh I think he is a war criminal,” after initially responding with a “no” to a question about whether he was ready to call Putin that.

That is the first time Biden has publicly branded Putin with that phrase. Last week, during a trip to Poland, Vice President Harris said Russia should “absohttps://www.reuters.com/world/biden-announce-new-security-assistance-ukraine-after-signing-massive-spending-2022-03-16/lutely” be investigated for potential war crimes.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki later said Biden was speaking from his heart, noting there is a separate legal process to determine whether Putin has violated international law and committed war crimes, and that that process currently is underway at the State Department.

Earlier in the day, Biden said the United States has offered Ukraine $1 billion in security aid, addressing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s urgent appeal to the U.S. Congress for military help to fend off the Russian invasion. The U.S. will continue to give Ukraine weapons to fight and defend themselves, offer humanitarian relief and support Ukraine’s economy with additional financial assistance, he added.

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