There are ‘clear signs’ Russia is considering the use of chemical weapons in Ukraine, according to the US President.
Joe Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin has his ‘back against the wall’ due to the stiff resistance Russian forces have met since his invasion of Russia began.
The war has now entered its 27th day, with the besieged city of Mariupol seeing some of the heaviest fighting.
Some 2,300 people were known to have died there by March 15th; however, the death toll is believed to have increased sharply in the days since.
Ukraine yesterday rejected a Russian demand to surrender the city in exchange for humanitarian corridors allowing civilians to flee.
Around 3,000 were eventually evacuated yesterday but those left behind continue to face severe food and water shortages.
President Biden said he fears Russia may turn to chemical weapons.
“His back is against the wall and now he is talking about new false flags he is setting up,” he said.
“Including asserting that we in America have biological as well as chemical weapons in Europe – simply not true. That is a clear sign he is considering using both of those.”
He was speaking after discussing Russia’s “brutal tactics in Ukraine, including its attacks on civilians” with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and the UK.
President Biden will travel to Europe later this week, where he will attend a NATO summit and meet with EU leaders in Brussels.
He will also visit Poland, which has taken in more than two million Ukrainian refugees.
Meanwhile, talks between Ukraine and Russia are continuing via video-link; however, little progress is being made.
The Kremlin continues to demand that Ukraine surrender and declare itself neutral.
Late last night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he would be prepared to consider cancelling any bid for NATO membership in exchange for a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Russian troops and a security guarantee.
He has previously suggested he would be willing to discuss Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014 and the Donbas region which is held by Russian backed separatists.
With reporting from IRN ...