The United States, along with its Allies and partners, is engaging with Russia in a series of discussions this week in order to de-escalate the crisis caused by Russia’s unprovoked military buildup near Ukraine’s border.
These talks include the Strategic Stability Dialogue between the United States and Russia, a NATO-Russia Council meeting, and a Permanent Council meeting at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Speaking to reporters in advance of the discussions, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “Diplomacy is the only responsible way to resolve this crisis,” and emphasized that the United States and its Allies and partners are willing to listen to any legitimate security concerns Russia may have and try to address them, “if the Kremlin is prepared to reciprocate regarding its own dangerous and destabilizing behavior.”
Secretary Blinken underscored it is Moscow’s aggression that has brought about the crisis, including by its massive buildup of military forces and equipment near Ukraine’s border. And this is only the latest in a series of acts of aggression Russia has committed against its neighbors over the past two decades, including against Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine itself when Russia invaded and seized Crimea in 2014.
Russia’s current threats against Ukraine threaten more than just Ukraine, said Secretary Blinken. “Moscow’s actions have threatened to set a new precedent on European soil whereby basic international principles that are vital to peace and security are up for debate: that the borders and territorial integrity of a state cannot be changed by force; that it is the inherent right of citizens in a democracy to make their country’s decisions and determine their country’s future; that all members of the international community are bound by common rules and should face costs if they don’t live up to the solemn commitments that they make.”
Secretary Blinken made clear that if Russia further invades Ukraine, it will face massive economic and financial sanctions and other measures from the United States and its allies and partners on a scale not seen before. “We hope Russia makes a different choice,” Secretary Blinken said. “We are committed to meaningful reciprocal dialogue with Russia, just as we’re fully committed to consulting and coordinating with our allies and partners – including the European Union – in all our discussions in all formats.. . .We believe there are areas where we can make progress.”