The lines of war seem to be tightening.– And NATO and other European leaders are calling for diplomacy ahead of next week’s face-to-face talks between the United States and Russia in Geneva.
The White House is backtracking on reports that the Biden administration may agree to reduce troop numbers in Eastern Europe if Russia withdraws its forces from close to Ukraine, Christina Rafini said. Reported by CBS Saturday Morning. “I want to be clear that this is not true,” a senior State Department official told reporters Friday.
But Putin’s problem remains.
“Russia’s offensive is a threat to peace and security in Europe,” Secretary of State Anthony Blankenship told an extraordinary news conference Friday.
He threatened further consequences for further Russian aggression in Europe, but said that diplomacy was still an option.
The United States wants Russia to reduce its military presence along Ukraine’s eastern border, where Russian forces annexed Crimea in 2014.
Both the United States and NATO have called it a non-starter.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said: “We will not compromise on fundamental principles, including the right of every nation to decide its own course, including what kind of security arrangements it wants to be part of.”
A U.S. intelligence report estimates that about 100,000 Russian troops could be ready to attack Ukraine earlier this year.
This week,When its president asked for help in controlling anti-government protests.
“I think one of the lessons of recent history is that once the Russians come to your house, sometimes it’s very difficult for them to leave,” Blinken said.
President Biden has said that US forces will not go to Ukraine, but if Russia decides to move beyond its borders, NATO allies around Eastern Europe may need them.