(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden said he would consider personally sanctioning Vladimir Putin if he orders an invasion of Ukraine, escalating the U.S. campaign to deter the Russian leader from war.

“Yes,” Biden said Tuesday in answer to a reporter’s question about whether the president could see targeting Putin himself with U.S. sanctions. “I would see that.”

The U.S. rarely levels sanctions directly against heads of state. But Biden has threatened some of the most severe economic penalties the U.S. and its allies can muster if Putin orders more than 100,000 troops massed outside Ukraine to cross the country’s border. 

“As I’ve said, there are going to be serious economic consequences if he moves,” Biden told reporters during a visit to a boutique in Washington.

The Kremlin earlier warned that a U.S. move to put about 8,500 troops on alert for rapid deployment to Europe “exacerbates tensions” in the region. Biden told reporters that the troops may begin moving soon.

“I may be moving some of those troops in the near term, just because it takes time,” Biden said. “It’s not provocative. It’s just exactly what I said. You don’t see a lot of concern in terms of their security at our NATO allies in Western Europe, but in Eastern Europe, there’s reason for concern.”

Biden has previously said he would seek to reinforce NATO’s eastern front in the event of a Ukraine invasion. He added that “we have no intention of putting American forces or NATO forces in Ukraine.”

Russian troops, he said, are “along the Russian border, Belarus border. So everyone from Poland on has reason to be concerned about what would happen and what spillover effects could occur.”

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.