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A Stark Choice for Russia

Ukrainian service members walk with M141 Bunker Defeat Munition weapons supplied by the United States during drills at the International Peacekeeping Security Centre near Yavoriv in the Lviv region, Ukraine, February 4, 2022.

The United States continues to “bolster Ukraine’s defenses and prepare a swift, united response to further Russian aggression,” said Secretary Blinken.

A Stark Choice for Russia
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As part of the continuing effort to de-escalate tensions resulting from Russia’s massive build-up of troops on its border with Ukraine, on January 26 U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan delivered to Russian authorities a set of written responses addressing security demands Russia has made of NATO. “It sets out a serious diplomatic path forward, should Russia choose it,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a subsequent press conference.

“The document we’ve delivered includes concerns of the United States and our Allies and partners about Russia’s actions that undermine security, a principled and pragmatic evaluation of the concerns that Russia has raised, and our own proposals for areas where we may be able to find common ground.”

However, Secretary Blinken warned, if Russia chooses aggression, it will face “massive consequences.”

After consultations with Ukraine and our European Allies and partners, the United States continues to “bolster Ukraine’s defenses and prepare a swift, united response to further Russian aggression,” said Secretary Blinken.

“Three deliveries of U.S. defensive military assistance arrived in Kyiv this week, carrying additional Javelin missiles and other anti-armor systems, 283 tons of ammunition and non-lethal equipment essential to Ukraine’s front-line defenders. More deliveries are expected in the days to come. We have provided more defensive security assistance to Ukraine in the past year than in any previous year.”

In addition, the United States has authorized its allies to provide Ukraine with U.S.-origin military equipment from their inventories, and the United States plans to deliver several military helicopters to Ukraine. The United States has 8,500 service members ready to support the NATO Response Force if it is activated. “We’re also continuing to coordinate with our European allies and partners on severe economic sanctions to hold Moscow accountable for its actions,” said Secretary Blinken.

The United States is ready to help mitigate the effects of secondary consequences of Russia’s destabilizing activity, including by supporting Ukraine’s economy and finding alternative natural gas supplies if Russia cuts off Europe’s supply.

“Our actions over the past week have sharpened the choice facing Russia now. We’ve laid out a diplomatic path. We’ve lined up steep consequences should Russia choose further aggression. We’ve stepped forward with more support for Ukraine’s security and economy. And we and our allies and partners are united across the board.”

“It remains up to Russia to decide how to respond,” said Secretary Blinken. “We’re ready either way.”