The United States and its allies and partners are looking forward to a series of meetings that could help defuse the crisis in Ukraine, caused by Russia’s buildup of nearly a hundred thousand Russian soldiers near Ukraine's border.
The most recent and high-level diplomatic efforts start on January 10 with the bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue between the United States and Russia, followed by a NATO-Russia Council meeting on January 12 and a Permanent Council meeting at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on January 13.
During a recent phone call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President Joe Biden warned that the U.S. and its allies and partners “will respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine,” according to a White House statement. Both leaders also expressed support for the upcoming diplomatic efforts to de-escalate tensions.
At a recent press briefing, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said that the United States and its allies and partners are unified when it comes to Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine. “We are unified as a NATO Alliance on the consequences Russia would face if it moves on Ukraine, but we’re also unified in our willingness to engage in principled diplomacy with Russia,” he said.
Mr. Price added that when the United States sits down with Russia at these meetings, “We will always adhere to the principle of nothing about our allies and partners without our allies and partners, nothing about them without them.”
He pointed out that in recent weeks and months the United States has vigorously consulted with a variety of stakeholders concerning Russia’s aggressive actions and rhetoric, including Ukraine, NATO, the EU, and European partners in Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom, among others. “The United States is joined at the hip with our NATO Allies, with our Ukrainian partners, and with our broader European allies and partners as well,” he said.
“Our charge in all of this is to determine where there may be some potential for dialogue and discussion [with Russia],” Spokesperson Price declared. “There will be areas where we can make progress, areas I’m sure where we will disagree. That’s what diplomacy is about, and, as we have consistently maintained, we believe that open lines of dialogue, open lines of diplomacy have the potential to be constructive as we seek to de-escalate the potential for conflict in and around Ukraine.”