The United States’ troops will not engage in a conflict with Russian forces in Ukraine, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday.

He made the statement during his State of the Union Address – an annual speech by the United States president on the current situation in the country addressed to the Congress.

“Let me be clear, our forces are not engaged and will not engage in conflict with Russian forces in Ukraine,” Biden said. “Our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine, but to defend our NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] allies – in the event that Putin decides to keep moving west.”

The United States has mobilised ground forces, air squadrons, and ship deployments to protect Poland, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, Biden said.

“As I have made crystal clear the United States and our Allies will defend every inch of territory of NATO countries with the full force of our collective power,” Biden said.

On February 2, the United States ordered nearly 3,000 additional troops to be sent to Europe amid early indications of a potential conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Further, the deployment of more than 4,000 troops in Europe is expected to be extended for several weeks, according to CNN.

On February 11, Biden had told NBC News that there was no scenario under which he could send Army personnel to rescue the country’s citizens in Ukraine. “That’s a world war when Americans and Russia start shooting at one another,” he had said.

‘Ukraine’s courage inspires the world’

Biden said that Russian President Vladimir Putin would have thought that he could roll into Ukraine and the world would not offer any resistance.

“Instead he met a wall of strength he never imagined,” Biden said. “He met the Ukrainian people. From [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelenskyy to every Ukrainian, their fearlessness, their courage, their determination, inspires the world.”

Biden said that Putin was now more isolated from the world than ever before, and that the United States, along with its allies, has enforced powerful economic sanctions against Russia.

“[We are] preventing Russia’s central bank from defending the Russian Ruble making Putin’s $630 Billion ‘war fund’ worthless,” he said. “We are choking off Russia’s access to technology that will sap its economic strength and weaken its military for years to come.”

Russia began an attack on Ukraine on February 24, and claimed that it did so to protect residents of separatist-controlled regions in the country. Russia has also cited alleged threats to it emanating from Ukraine.

Ukraine has denied that it poses a threat to Russia. and said that an invasion could cost thousands of lives.