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'Too early to say' if Russia committing war crimes, says Biden

Washington : US President Joe Biden on Wednesday said that Russia is targeting civilians, but it's "too early to say" if it is committing war crimes. He said that Russia is intentionally targeting civilians in Ukraine but declined to say whether he believed war crimes were being committed, reported CNN. "It's clear they are" targeting civilians, Biden said. Asked if he believed Russia is committing war crimes, Biden said, "We are following it very closely. It's too early to say that." Biden also reiterated that sanctioning Russian oil exports remained a possibility, though officials have cautioned that they will work to minimize the impact of such a move on the US and global oil prices, reported CNN. "Nothing is off the table," Biden said when specifically pressed on banning Russian oil exports. US Vice President Kamala Harris, meanwhile on Wednesday said: "everything is on the table" as the US assesses economic sanctions imposed on Russia for launching a military operation on Ukraine and continued to stress the US will not send troops to fight Russian forces in Ukraine."What we are going to continue to do is stand firm with our allies in terms of reassessing what we are doing with sanctions. Everything is on the table for consideration, frankly," Harris told NBC's "TODAY Show." However, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions in Ukraine qualify as a war crime. "What we have seen already from Vladimir Putin's regime in the use of the munitions that they have already been dropping on innocent civilians ... in my view, [it] already fully qualifies as a war crime," he said at the UK parliament. Separately, Biden also said it is up to Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy to decide whether he wants to remain in his country as it comes under siege by Russia. "I think it's his judgment to make and we're doing everything we can to help him," Biden said as he departed the White House. Zelenskyy has said he is Russia's top target during the fighting, and that his family is the second. The US has said previously it is providing a broad range of support for Zelenskyy, though hasn't detailed what measures it's taking to protect him, reported CNN. CNN has reported previously that the US has discussed contingency plans with Zelenskyy about leaving Ukraine or relocating to Lviv.

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