President Joe Biden taunted Russia while speaking with reporters Sunday at the G-7 summit in Japan. The big decision which has been a main talking point at the meeting was the White House telling European allies that the US will allow them to export F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine if they desire. 

This has led to questions over whether this escalation in policy could bring NATO and Russia into direct clash. Here’s how a particular exchange went as the G7 wrapped up:

Journalist asks Biden about Russia saying that giving Ukraine F-16s is a “colossal risk” .

Biden: It is, FOR THEM.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also presented a stance of ‘toughness’ and optimism concerning the war. In a speech marking the end of the G-7 he urged the Western allies to ensure that Russia is the “last aggressor”.

He called Ukraine’s own 10-point peace plan the world’s “salvation from war,” and emphasized that “We will paralyze other potential aggressors.” 

“When everyone who wants war sees how determined the world is when it wants peace, there will be no point to start a war,” he said. 

His words came on the heels of Biden unveiling another $375million military aid package featuring more ammo, vehicles, and weapons. But news of the fall of Bakhmut clearly put a damper on the G7 proceedings for those officials gathered in Hiroshima. Zelensky appeared to offer some degree of confirmation that Ukraine no longer holds the city, following the Saturday announcement from Wagner: 

As for Biden, he attempted to present the loss of Bakhmut as in the end more devastating for the Russian side, claiming that it suffered a huge number of casualties

“There is a discussion about Bakhmut – whether or not it’s been lost or whatever,” he said.

“Well, the truth of the matter is the Russians have suffered over 100,000 casualties in Bakhmut. That’s hard to make up. So whether or not there are troops in Bakhmut occupying, there are not many buildings left standing in Bakhmut. It’s a pretty devastated city. But they have been able to move in a direction that they’ve been able to lock down an awful lot of the Russian forces, including the Wagner Group.”

Biden made this statement in the context of the upcoming counter-offensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the possible transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. According to the U.S. president, F-16s “would not have helped (the Ukrainian army in Bakhmut).”

It’s unclear where the US president got these numbers, but they have been echoed before by some Pentagon and intelligence officials. It seems Washington’s new narrative will be to consider Bakhmut only an extremely costly Pyrrhic victory for the Russian side.

This article was first published in ZeroHedge

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