President Biden talks with President Zelensky after calling Russia’s actions in Ukraine “genocide”

There were two important conversations on Ukraine in Washington today
Published: Apr. 13, 2022 at 8:03 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - There was an important call in the White House and a key meeting at the Pentagon, both about the war in Ukraine. These conversations take place a day after President Biden called Putin’s actions in Russia “genocide.” Greta Van Susteren, KBTX’s Chief National Political Analyst, joined First News at Four to talk about what went on in these meetings and the significance of Biden’s comments.

Biden spoke on the phone with President Zelenskyy of Ukraine who made a pitch for more aid from the United States. Biden authorized an additional $800 million in security aid which includes helicopters, artillery systems, ammunition, and armored personnel carriers.

Across the Potomac River at the Pentagon, there was another meeting going on with people who manufacture weapons for the United States.

They routinely meet to see what the U.S. needs militarily, but according to Van Susteren, “it has added significance now because of the war in Ukraine.”

They discussed resupplying the U.S. and the question of resupplying Ukraine.

Hanging over these conversations is the question of what happens now that President Biden has called the atrocities in Ukraine a genocide.

Van Susteren believes “his staff pretty much fell over when he said that.”

Genocide is a word that many people would use to describe the situation in Ukraine, but it has legal significance when the head of state says it. It is rare that the U.S. has made a formal declaration of genocide, and when this happens, it invokes responsibilities under the UN Geneva Convention that they must step in to prevent further genocide.

“It’s horrible right now, but the U.S. has been trying to avoid getting involved so that Putin doesn’t escalate further,” explained Van Susteren.

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