US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Geneva, where he meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday, the fourth time in the past week that US and Russian officials have held direct talks.
The West is demanding that Russia move its troops and weapons away from Ukraine’s border, while Moscow is pushing NATO to reduce its operations in Eastern and Central Europe and insisting that a Western military alliance Ukraine’s membership rejects the bid.
Blinken vowed Thursday that the United States and its allies would spend “rapidly and massively” on Russia if Russia invaded Ukraine, but said Russian President Vladimir Putin was still diplomatic over rising tensions in Eastern Europe. You can choose the solution.
Blinken said the US “has been very clear throughout” that if any Russian military force moves across the Ukrainian border “that they will face a swift, severe united response from the US, and our allies and partners.”
After meeting with German Foreign Minister Annalena Beerbock in Berlin, Blinken said Putin had “a choice between dialogue and diplomacy on the one hand and conflict and outcome on the other. He has to decide which course to take.”
“We are at a turning point,” Blinken said, referring to the standoff between the West and Moscow over Putin’s gathering of 100,000 troops in the eastern part of Ukraine.
While the US has been firm in saying that a Russian military invasion of Ukraine would impose swift and significant economic sanctions but no US or NATO military response, it is less clear what the West can do in the event of a Russian cyberattack or other actions. Against the Kiev government.
At his news conference on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden made confusing remarks about the West’s response, which he called a “minor intrusion”.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki later said that Biden “knows from long experience that the Russians have a comprehensive playbook of aggression less than military action, including cyberattacks and paramilitary tactics. And she confirmed today that those of the Russian aggression.” The acts will be met with a decisive, reciprocal and joint response.”
Biden’s remarks about “minor incursions” drew a sharp response from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who said on Twitter, “We want to remind the great powers that there are no small intrusions and small nations. Just like losing loved ones.” There are no minor casualties and little suffering. I say this as the president of a great power.”
Biden defended whether Putin would invade Ukraine, saying “I’m not so sure he will” [is] Not sure what he’s going to do. I guess he will go in. He’ll have to do something. ,
The US leader said he does not believe Putin wants a “complete war” but wants to test the resolve of the United States and NATO.
Russia has denied that it intends to invade Ukraine, while it wants security guarantees such as Ukraine not joining NATO, a seven-decade-old military alliance formed after World War II.
On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova alleged that Ukrainian and Western claims of an impending Russian attack on Ukraine were “a cover for staging their own large-scale provocations, including military ones.”
“They can have very sad consequences for regional and global security,” Zakharova said.
It has pointed to Britain’s arms deliveries to Ukraine in recent days, claiming that Ukraine regards Western military aid as “carte blanche for a military operation” in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region.
Some of the material in this report comes from the Associated Press.