The U.S. would “welcome” any Russian citizens seeking asylum in this country after fleeing Russian President’s military draft, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
She made the comments during a White House Press briefing, even as tens of thousands of Russian citizens have surged into neighboring Eastern European countries. A reporter pressed Jean-Pierre about reports of military-age men fleeing across borders or even injuring themselves to avoid conscription.
“I know the White House has drawn a distinction between the Russian government and the people of Russia. Does the president have a message for some of these men who are desperately trying to flee the country?” - a reporter asked.
“We are seeing protests in the streets of Russia, we are seeing people sign petitions, and I think the message they are sending to us very clearly is that this war that Putin started … is unpopular. There are people out there in Russia who do not want to fight Putin’s war or die for it.
We believe that, regardless of nationality, they may apply for asylum in the US and have their claim adjudicated on a case-by-case basis. We welcome any folks who are seeking asylum, and they should do that”, - she said.