US President Joe Biden said Tuesday that Americans' budgets shouldn't depend on whether a dictator "commits genocide" in another country.
"Your family budget, your ability to fill up your tank, none of it should hinge on whether a dictator declares war and commits genocide a half a world away," Biden said in Iowa, where he was unveiling a new rule on ethanol.
"To help deal with this Putin price hike, I've authorized the release of one million barrels per day from the strategic petroleum reserve," Biden went on.
Biden has previously stopped short of calling what is underway in Ukraine a genocide. His aides have said it doesn't yet rise to the level.
"We have seen atrocities, we have seen war crimes, we have not yet seen a level of systematic deprivation of life of the Ukrainian people to rise to the level of genocide," national security adviser Jake Sullivan said earlier this month.
On Sunday, Sullivan told CNN's Jake Tapper that calling it "genocide" isn't as important as calling out the atrocities.
"In my opinion, the label is less important than the fact that these acts are cruel and criminal and wrong and evil and need to be responded to decisively," he said.