White House press secretary Jen Psaki denied a rumor during a daily press briefing on Thursday that the U.S. advised Ukraine to give up some of its land to Russia.
Psaki pressed back on the speculation just hours after President Joe Biden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin by video to discuss Russia’s troop buildup along Ukraine’s border.
“There are some reports that the U.S. is pressuring Ukraine to cede land to Russia as a way to deter them from invading. Is that true?” a reporter asked.
“No, that’s absolutely false,” Psaki responded.
“It’s going to be up to President Putin to make a decision about whether he is going to invade Ukraine and send a message to the global community that he does not respect the territorial integrity of a country when the United States and our European partners are sending a clear message that there will be significant economic consequences, severe economic consequences,” Psaki added.
The U.S. has already pressed Russia to refrain from invading Ukraine, claiming there will be consequences if they do so.
Russia may not be very concerned with Biden’s words. Biden has already said he will not send U.S. troops to Ukraine, but will instead support NATO in resisting Russian efforts.