Former Vice President Joe Biden warned of a “strong and unified response” from the international community if Russia invades Ukraine.
“We all know that Putin views Ukraine as a way for Russia to continue its territorial expansion,” Biden said in an interview set to air Sunday on “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.”
“Russia, over the next year or two, will continue to invade,” Biden warned. “And, we must provide Ukraine with the weapons it needs to defend itself.”
The former vice president noted Ukraine’s 15-year old Kiev-2 missile system, which he said could put the Western country in range of a vast Russian military arsenal and “it’s a very powerful weapon.”
Biden, a Democratic senator for Delaware who served as President Barack Obama’s vice president from 2015 to January 2017, has been a harsh critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling him “a thug” and “a bully” as a senator and White House hopeful during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Biden’s comments came hours after European Union countries voted to impose sanctions on Russia after its military launched a suspected chemical weapons attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the U.K.
Biden called for sanctions to be “beyond punitive,” noting that “we need to be ready to have a deterrent to Putin’s ambitions.”
“How do we deter future Russian aggression? We have to show that Putin understands that he will not prevail,” he said.