President Joe Biden admitted Thursday that more sanctions would not deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from proceeding in his war in Ukraine.
“I did not say that in fact the sanctions would deter him,” Biden told a reporter during a press conference in Brussels. “Sanctions never deter.”
The president complained that the media continued to harp on the failure of his tough sanctions to prevent Putin from escalating his war in Ukraine.
He explained the strategy of sanctions was more about punishment, just hours after announcing more economic sanctions on Russia.
“The maintenance of sanctions, the increasing the pain, and the demonstration why I asked for this NATO meeting today is to be sure that after a month we will sustain what we are doing,” he said.
When asked by a reporter if he thought the additional sanctions would force Putin to change course in Ukraine, Biden grew frustrated.
“That’s not what I said, you’re playing a game with me … the answer is no,” he replied.
“The single most important thing is for us to stay unified,” he continued. “And the world continue to focus on what a brute this guy is and all the innocent people’s lives that are being lost and ruined.”
Biden said it was important to make sure that Europe was resolved to keep putting long-term pressure on Putin.
“If you’re Putin and you think that Europe is going to crack … they can take anything for another month,” he said. “We have to stay fully, totally, thoroughly united.”