US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke yesterday with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell. This is what Ned Price, spokesman for the United States Department of State, announces. Blinken reaffirmed his ipledge to strengthen cooperation between the United States and the EU and to face shared challenges.
The US secretary of state then stressed the importance of coordinate actions in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and reiterated that any further aggression by Russia against Ukraine would result in a stern response.
Blinken and Borrell also addressed concerns about political pressure and economic coercion against Lithuania by the People’s Republic of China.
The Biden administration and its allies are preparing a series of “tough” financial, technological and military sanctions against Russia, which would take effect within “a few hours” in the event of an invasion of Ukraine. The New York Times writes, citing government sources. The news comes on the eve of the diplomatic meetings scheduled for Monday in Geneva, Switzerland.
The United States recently discussed the plan with its allies: among the measures considered, the embargo on Moscow of the technology made in the USA and the military support for Ukrainians, who would find themselves engaged on the border against Russian occupation. These maneuvers, recalls the New York daily, are generally not anticipated, but the advisers of President Joe Biden have the aim of making Moscow understand what it will face if it goes from threats to de facto ways in the coming weeks.
The meetings on Monday will be conducted, on the American side, by the Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman, a highly experienced diplomat who negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran in 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin has long asked NATO to renounce any aim of expansion to the east, and officially exclude the possibility of including Ukraine itself among the allies of the Atlantic pact. Biden has already said that he is unwilling to discuss this.
The reaction of the Kremlin
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Riabkov expressed the “disappointment” of Moscow “for the signals received in recent days from Washington, but also from Brussels”, on the eve of the Geneva talks focused on security and the Ukrainian conflict.
Russia has ruled out any “concessions” in talks with the United States in Geneva on Ukraine and on security in Europe, scheduled for tomorrow. “We will not accept any concessions. It is completely excluded,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Riabkov, who is expected to take part in the negotiations, told Russian news agencies. “We are disappointed with the signals received in recent days from Washington, but also from Brussels”, he added.