The Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken said on Sunday that Russia had to choose between dialogue and confrontation, ahead of the Geneva talks on rising tensions over Ukraine.
“There is a path of dialogue and diplomacy to try to resolve some of these differences and avoid a confrontation.“Blinken told the” State of the Union “program on CNN.
“The other way is confrontation and massive consequences for Russia if it renews its aggression against Ukraine. We are about to test the proposal on what path President Putin is willing to take ”.
According to reports, Vladimir Putin’s government has concentrated tens of thousands of military troops along Russia’s border with Ukraine, which has led Washington into a Cold War-style showdown.
Blinken warned that any positive outcome from the talks would depend in part on Russia’s willingness to withdraw from its aggressive stance, which cHe came up with “an atmosphere of escalation with a gun to Ukraine’s head.”
“Then, if we are really going to progress, we will have to see a de-escalation, Russia will move away from the threat that it currently poses for Ukraine “said the top diplomat of the US president Joe biden.
Moscow ruled out any concessions in the long-awaited talks on Sunday, which open a week of diplomacy in which Russian officials will meet with NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
The Kremlin, suspicious of the possible eastward expansion of NATO, has insisted that the grouping will never grant membership to Ukraine, a former Soviet state that is pushing to join the transatlantic body.
Washington has also recognized that Moscow has expressed interest in discussing the future of missile systems in Europe.
Blinken did the rounds of Sunday talk shows emphasizing the need for dialogue.
He acknowledged that he was not anticipating great progress in the talks, but He emphasized that there were possible punishments awaiting Washington’s rival if he did not engage in diplomacy.
Russia could face serious economic and financial consequences, “In addition to that NATO will almost certainly have to strengthen its position near Russia and continue to provide assistance to Ukraine,” he told ABC on “This Week.”
“It’s not just me who says it. The G7 (the major democracies of the Group of Seven) made it clear that there would be massive consequences. The European Union and NATO partners and allies as well ”.
Earlier this month, Biden told the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, that Washington and its allies “They would respond decisively” if Russia tries to invade.
(With information from AFP)