Blinken, on the Russian threat to Ukraine: “It’s not scaremongering, it’s the facts” | International


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, to the right;  together with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, this Monday, in Washington.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, to the right; together with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, this Monday, in Washington.Ronny Przysucha / US State Department (US State Department / EFE)

Washington and Brussels have closed ranks this Monday on the level of risk that Russia’s military pressure on Ukraine entails, despite the usual difference in tone between the two allies, and have come out against criticism of the alarmism that the warnings from the United States about an imminent Russian attack can provoke. The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, told the press, after meeting with the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, that these are “the most dangerous moments for security in Europe since the end of the Cold War”. . The head of US diplomacy, for his part, defended: “This is not alarmism, these are the facts.”

Blinken and Borrell met at the State Department headquarters at a time when talks with the Kremlin seem to have reached a dead end and alerts from the United States are redoubling about the aggressions that, according to information from its espionage services, plans Moscow. This Sunday, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan insisted that the Russian invasion of the former Soviet republic could happen “at any time.” On Thursday, the Administration assured that the Government of Vladimir Putin was preparing a video with a fictitious attack on his troops to justify the intervention. Over the weekend, Pentagon projections on the human toll of a large-scale war emerged: 50,000 victims and five million refugees.

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On the other side of the Atlantic, the European Union has been much more cautious in all its communications, but Borrell on Monday avoided showing differences with Blinken. In his joint appearance before the media, the head of European diplomacy stressed: “No one concentrates 140,000 heavily armed soldiers on the border of a country” without this “representing a strong threat.” “140,000 soldiers on the border are not here for tea,” he stressed. Thus, he defended the coordination that has existed at all times with Washington, since the beginning of the crisis, and assured that this conflict has even strengthened ties.

The president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, has publicly complained about the “panic” messages transmitted by the US administration. Two weeks ago, Borrell distanced himself from the move by the United States to reduce its diplomatic staff in Ukraine.

Blinken denied any fear on the part of the United States. “This is not scaremongering, these are simply facts and we must face the facts in the context of history,” he said. “We have seen how in recent months Russian forces have built up on the border with Ukraine and this is something that does not happen for nothing,” he added, to recall the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014. The Secretary of State reiterated that his government does not believe that Putin has made a decision on the attack, but stressed that “he has put the means to do it very quickly in a way that would have terrible consequences for Ukraine, Russia and for all of us.”

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Both senior officials agreed, despite everything, in not giving up on the diplomatic solution, although Putin remains entrenched in demands that have been flatly rejected by NATO allies. Among others, it includes stopping the expansion of the Alliance towards the East and denying the incorporation of Ukraine to it. Within the response measures that the allies are preparing if Russian aggression against Ukraine is confirmed, such as sanctions, a plan to avoid energy problems also prevails, since Russia is one of Europe’s major suppliers. The meeting was held, in fact, within the framework of the US-EU Energy Council that takes place in Washington and that has addressed this issue.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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