In the latest development in the ongoing Ukraine saga, the United States and Germany said on Wednesday that Russia’s military buildup near Ukraine’s border poses an “immediate and urgent challenge” to European security and that any intervention will draw severe consequences.
According to AP News, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock presented a unified front on Russia after a meeting in Washington. The severity of the response to a Russian invasion of Ukraine hinges largely on Germany as it is Europe’s biggest economy and a diplomatic heavyweight within the 27-nation European Union.
“Both Germany and the United States see Russia’s actions toward Ukraine as an immediate and urgent challenge to peace and stability in Europe,” Blinken said. “We condemn Russia’s military buildup on Ukraine’s borders, as well as Russia’s increasingly harsh rhetoric as it continues to push the false narrative that Ukraine seeks to provoke (Russia).” He then compared that false narrative to “the fox saying it had no choice but to attack the hen house because somehow the hens presented a threat.”
Baerbock agreed saying, “Russian actions and activities come with a clear price tag, and a renewed violation of Ukrainian sovereignty by Russia would have severe consequences.”
The meeting between Blinken and Baerbock followed a telephone call last week between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, a conversation between Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and a group discussion Tuesday among Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan and his counterparts from the five Nordic nations.