The latest news on the Russian-Ukrainian war: live updates

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AUSTIN, Texas — Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said any Russian use of chemical weapons would provoke a harsh Western response, while adding that any US action should stop before US troops engage in direct combat. Russian forces.

“However cautious the administration might be in providing aircraft and other things, it will be abandoned,” Schiff said at the South by Southwest conference in the Texas capital.

The United States, which has supplied Ukraine with anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, as well as other systems, has been reluctant to provide some equipment. After days of talks, the Pentagon on Wednesday closed the door on transferring Polish MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, calling Warsaw’s offer to hand over the planes via a US military base “high risk”.

The Defense Ministry, however, has left the door open for further arms transfers as Ukraine attempts to fend off much larger invading Russian forces.

President Biden said last week that Russia would pay a “heavy price” if it used chemical weapons amid growing fears in the West that Moscow would resort to deploying chemical, biological or nuclear weapons after struggling to advancing the war in Ukraine.

Still, Mr. Schiff dismissed the idea that Russia engaging in chemical warfare in Ukraine would draw America directly into the conflict. President Biden has repeatedly said that American troops will not fight the Russians in Ukraine.

Any US response in such a chemical attack scenario, Schiff said, “if it’s military, it will have to follow the same principle that we’re not going to go into a direct war with Russia.”

Mr Schiff, who said he could not predict the end of the conflict, added that other global players, particularly China, were watching US actions closely. Last week’s US ban on Russian oil, he said, would remind China that nothing less than the future of free trade was at stake. That could prove invaluable in a future conflict. on Taiwan, he said.

“It told China that Americans are ready to live up to our values,” Schiff said. China and others, Schiff said, ‘rely on our unwillingness to sacrifice’

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