America, Germany reiterate Russia’s warning about Ukraine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US and German top diplomats reiterated on Wednesday that they would impose consequences on Russia for an invasion of Ukraine, with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock stressing the need for a diplomatic solution to increased tensions between Moscow and the West.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his newly appointed German counterpart met in the State Department ahead of a series of meetings with Russian officials in Europe next week.

Alarmed by Russia’s military build – up along Ukraine’s border, Washington has gathered European allies to threaten Russia with sanctions to try to ease tensions.

Strong transatlantic solidarity is the most effective response and the most effective tool we have to counter Russian aggression, ?? said Mr Blinken, reiterating a promise to go beyond any previous sanctions against Russia and “inflict very significant costs on Russia’s economy and financial system?” in case Russia invades Ukraine.

Ms. Baerbock said Russia was aware that this was the “common position”. Europe and America to impose ?? serious consequences ?? in case of an invasion, but did not specify what sanctions Germany would take.

There is no alternative to a political solution. This must be clear to the Russian government, ?? Ms. Baerbock said according to a live interpretation of her comments after her meeting with Mr. Blinken.

Ukraine accuses Russia of gathering around 100,000 troops in preparation for a possible invasion, raising fears that a smoldering conflict in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region could erupt into open war between neighboring Soviet republics.

President Biden has promised to continue providing military assistance to Ukraine to defend itself against potential Russian aggression.

Mrs Baerbock said Germany had a “different position”. to the United States on the supply of weapons to Ukraine, but supported Ukraine’s armed forces through medical supplies and assisted in the treatment of Ukrainian soldiers wounded in the conflict.

Sir. Blinken and Ms. Baerbock said they were also discussing the Russian-backed Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would supply natural gas to Germany and bypass existing transit routes through Ukraine.

Ms. Baerbock said the new coalition government that took power in Berlin last month supported a joint declaration signed with Washington by its predecessors in July.

?? We agreed with this with European partners that we would take effective action together with European partners if Russia were to use energy as a weapon, or should it continue its aggressive actions against Ukraine, ?? she said.

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Photo: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock address members of the media at the State Department in Washington on January 5, 2022. Mandel Ngan / Pool via Reuters

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