MILAN – White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to put Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert are part of a wider pattern of unprovoked escalation and ‘manufactured threats’ from the Kremlin.
‘This is really a pattern that we’ve seen from President Putin through the course of this conflict, which is manufacturing threats that don’t exist in order to justify further aggression – and the global community and the American people should look at it through that prism’, Psaki told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on ‘This Week’.
She added: ‘This is all a pattern from President Putin and we’re going to stand up for it, we have the ability to defend ourselves, but we also need to call out what we’re seeing here from President Putin.
When asked about further military aid or sanctions, Psaki said that the U.S. is prepared to send more humanitarian, economic, and defensive military supplies, nothing the administration’s most recent announcement of the aid since the conflict started.
‘I would note that the sanctions that we announced yesterday put Russian on par with Iran, cutting then off from a banking system with the global community’, Psaki said.
Pressed on if the US would take more immediate action against the Russian energy sector, Psaki said that everything is ‘on the table’, and added that the Aministration believe the current conflict illustrates that the U.S. should bolster its domestic supply of energy and diversify beyond oil and gas.
Psaki added that the U.S. remains in close contact with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and praised him for his leadership over the course of the first few days of the current war.
‘He is standing up courageously against the invasion of President Putin and Russian leadership’, Psaki said. ‘We will remain in close contact with him’.