WASHINGTON, March 2. /TASS/. US President Joe Biden claimed on Tuesday Russia had rejected attempts to solve European security issues through diplomatic means because it was planning a special operation in Ukraine from the very outset.
"Putin’s war was premeditated and unprovoked. He rejected efforts at diplomacy. He thought the West and NATO wouldn’t respond. And, he thought he could divide us here at home. Putin was wrong. We were ready," the US leader was quoted as saying in excerpts from his State of the Union Address, published by the White House website and expected to be delivered in coming hours.
"The costs and threats to America and the world keep rising," Biden said. "That’s why the NATO Alliance was created to secure peace and stability in Europe after World War 2. The United States is a member along with 29 other nations. It matters. American diplomacy matters."
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories.
When clarifying the developments unfolding, the Russian Defense Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure.