KYIV – Two days before the meeting with the Russian Secretary of State in Geneva, the US Secretary of State, Antony Blink, this Wednesday, 19 said, that Russia can attack Ukraine Warned of further confrontation at any time and if you do so there will be consequences.
Blinken made the remarks while speaking with US officials at the US embassy in the Ukrainian capital, where he descended on Wednesday morning in the latest display of US support for the beleaguered country’s government.
Blinken said Russia was already supporting the insurgency in eastern Ukraine, and that Moscow’s decision to deploy a larger force near the country’s eastern border was of great concern.
“We know that there are plans to increase this force in a very short time, and this gives President Putin the ability to take more aggressive actions against Ukraine in a very short time,” he said.
Both Kremlin and US officials voiced pessimism after a third round of talks on Eastern European security last week, with a Russian diplomat saying talks with the West were approaching a “dead end”.
In this scenario, Blinken met with the President of Ukraine in the morning, Volodymyr Zelensky, and later with his foreign minister, Dimitro Kuleba.
It was unclear whether Blinken promised specific new support measures to deter Moscow or to fight Russian forces in the event of a full-scale invasion, but a State Department official confirmed Wednesday that the Biden administration had month approved. $200 million in defensive security assistance to Ukraine.
Blinken is due to meet his Russian counterpart Sergei V. Lavrov in Geneva on Friday. US officials downplayed expectations of any progress at the meeting, which they saw as an opportunity to examine whether Moscow is serious about talks. But the White House also said Tuesday that it hopes to highlight that “there is a diplomatic way forward.”
Russia has deployed about 100,000 troops along its western border with Ukraine, although exact estimates vary. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday that Russia could attack Ukraine at any time.
Russian officials are urging the United States to provide a formal, written response to a set of demands issued by the Kremlin, including a legally binding pledge by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that Ukraine should never Don’t accept me as a member.
US officials have given no indication that Blinken will give Lavrov any such document.
Speaking at a forum in Moscow on Wednesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei A. Ryabkov reiterated his government’s earlier denials that Moscow plans to move its forces to Ukraine.