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Ukraine: Blinken warns Russia of risk of “confrontation” before talks start

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“The other path is one of confrontation and massive consequences for Russia if it renews its aggression on Ukraine. We are on the verge of seeing which path President Putin is ready to take,” ruled the Secretary of State. US State Antony Blinken on the US channel CNN.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday warned Russia of a risk of “confrontation” before the start of high-tension talks in Geneva on the situation in Ukraine. “There is a way of dialogue and diplomacy to try to resolve some of these differences and avoid confrontation,” Antony Blinken told CNN. “The other path is one of confrontation and massive consequences for Russia if it renews its aggression on Ukraine. We are about to see which path President Putin is ready to take,” he said. judge.

He warned that progress could not be made “in an atmosphere of escalation, with a gun to Ukraine’s temple.” “So if we are to actually make progress, we are going to have to witness a de-escalation, with Russia withdrawing from the threat it currently poses to Ukraine,” he said. Representatives of Russia and the United States are to meet Sunday evening in Geneva, to try to defuse tensions. Russia is accused by the West of having massed tens of thousands of soldiers on the border of Ukraine in anticipation of a possible invasion, which Moscow denies.

Consequences in the event of a new assault

“We are going to listen to Russia’s concerns. They are going to have to listen to ours. If they proceed in good faith, we believe we can make progress in addressing concerns on both sides,” Antony Blinken said on Sunday. But he also recalled that the G7 countries, just like the European Union and NATO, had, like the United States, warned of “consequences” in the event of a new Russian “aggression” in Ukraine. He said the United States had been working “in recent weeks” with these allied countries to find “an agreement on the measures we would take together” if that happened, citing “economic, financial and other measures.”

Discussions to reconcile irreconcilable visions

“Including things we haven’t done in the past,” he added. The stake of these discussions for Washington and Moscow is to manage to bring together visions apparently irreconcilable on the security in Europe. Russia is demanding in particular a commitment from NATO not to integrate Ukraine and the withdrawal of American soldiers from the most eastern countries of the Atlantic Alliance. But neither of these two demands “are on the negotiating table”, Antony Blinken said Sunday. The United States is however ready to discuss with Russia missile devices and military exercises of the two countries, according to an official of the White House.

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