USA says you have evidence that Russia has made plans for a “full-scale” attack on Ukraine and that the allies of the NATO are “prepared to impose severe costs” on Moscow if you try an invasion.
Speaking at a meeting of NATO ministers in Latvia, the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said it was unclear if Vladimir Putin it had made the decision to invade, but added: “It is putting in place the capacity to do so in a short time, in case it so decides.”
“So despite the uncertainty about intent and timing, we must prepare for all contingencies as we work to ensure Russia changes course.”
He said that he had found solidarity among his fellow NATO ministers in the Latvian capital, Riga, and said the alliance was “prepared to impose severe costs for further Russian aggression in Ukraine” and that it would “strengthen its defenses on the eastern flank.”
However, the secretary of state stopped short of saying that the United States or the alliance would intervene militarily.
“If Russia follows the path of confrontation, when it comes to Ukraine, we have made it clear that we will respond with determination, even with a series of high-impact economic measures that we have refrained from following in the past,” Blinken said.
He did not specify the nature of those measures, but most observers believe that the gas pipeline project Nord Stream 2, intended to bring Russian gas to Europe, it could be canceled if there is another invasion. The new German coalition government is already skeptical of the plan.
US threatens Russia of ‘consequences’
Blinken said that USA explain the consequences to the leaders of Russia “at the appropriate time”.
His comments represent the strongest warning from the Biden administration yet, and were delivered a day before Blinken met with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on Stockholm in increasingly tense circumstances.
Blinken noted “evidence that Russia has made plans for significant aggressive moves against Ukraine”, He added that those moves include “efforts to destabilize Ukraine from within, as well as large-scale military operations.”
Ukrainian government estimates of the number of troops near its borders range from 90,000 to 100,000.
Russian forces conducted two major military exercises in the region, in April and September, each time leaving behind significant numbers of troops and substantial supplies of equipment. Commercial satellites have shown concentrations of military vehicles.
The Kremlin has said Putin will soon hold a summit with Joe Biden. The White House It has indicated that it is open to the idea, but a date has not been agreed. On Wednesday, Putin proposed holding negotiations to ensure that the NATO do not accept new members along the borders of Russia.
“In dialogue with the United States and its allies, we will insist on developing concrete agreements that exclude any NATO advance to the east and the deployment of weapons systems that threaten us in the vicinity of Russian territory,” he said during a ceremony at the Kremlin. .
“We propose to start substantive negotiations on this matter.”
The suggestion that Russia and the US do indeed hammer spheres of influence was direct even to Putin, who has denied that Russia’s recent build-up near Ukraine is anything but defensive in nature.
The Biden administration seeks to avoid being drawn into a situation in which the United States is negotiating Ukraine’s future over and above the heads of government in Kiev and its European neighbors. The political emphasis has been on reinforcing the solidarity of the EU and NATO in the hope of deterring the Russian threat.
The focus on the location of weapons systems in Eastern Europe It also seemed to evoke earlier crises from his time in power, specifically the location of air defense systems in Poland and Romania that Russia claimed it could be a staging area for missile strikes in Moscow.
Putin warned on Tuesday that Moscow could be forced to target Europe with missiles if air defense systems are sent to Ukraine.
The accession of ex-Soviet and communist countries to NATO has long been a nuisance of Putin, who has argued that the alliance violated guarantees given to the Soviet leader. Mikhail Gorbachev that it would not expand to the east.
Putin delivered a keynote address at the Security Conference of Munich in 2007, where he accused the NATO powers of “a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust.”
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