If Russia invades Ukraine, the U.S. threatens to call it “serious consequences”

Moscow If the invasion will face “serious consequences” UkraineOn Thursday, as tensions in Eastern Europe increased and the Biden administration faced one of the toughest international tests, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told his Russian counterparts bluntly.

Mr. Brinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a brief closed-door meeting during the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe meeting in Stockholm.As the tense diplomatic standoff took place, thousands of Russian troops were still gathering in the country with Ukraine As some foreign policy analysts have warned, the Russian president Vladimir Putin Might treat this as his The last window to keep Ukraine Consolidate security and economic ties with the West through the use of military power—or at least a direct threat of military power.

As the United States and its NATO allies seek to avoid war, Mr. Brinken promotes Moscow Comply with the Minsk Agreement, a 2014 agreement aimed at ending fighting in the disputed Donbass region Ukraine, The site of frequent clashes between Ukrainian government forces and supporting pro-Russian separatists Moscow.

Mr. Brinken stated that the United States seeks to cooperate with Russia But warned that any action Ukraine Will force the hands of the United States.

“We RussiaPlan to reinvade UkraineThis will move us in the completely opposite direction, which is not in anyone’s interest at all,” Mr. Brinken said in a brief public speech before the meeting with Mr. Lavrov. “Our sovereignty and territorial integrity of the United States are Has a firm and firm commitment. Ukraine. “

“The best way to avoid a crisis is through diplomacy and… the full implementation of the Minsk Agreement, with Russia Take back its power,” he said. “The United States is willing to facilitate this, but—and, in a spirit of clarity and frankness, it’s best practice—if Russia Deciding to engage in confrontation has serious consequences. “

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a speech in South Korea on Thursday that the United States and its allies will coordinate the global response to any Russian military aggression.

But it is not clear how far the United States and Europe may be willing to go. International condemnation and threats of economic sanctions failed to stop Mr. Putin In 2014, when Crimea was taken over, the same measures did not prevent Russia-backed hackers from launching a series of major cyber attacks on the United States and other foreign targets.

gentlemen. Putin It has been said that increasing Western support for Kiev, including the support of NATO member states, will be a “red line” Moscow Will not tolerate it.Mr. Lavrov said on Thursday Moscow View the current crisis as part of a broader problem Ukraine Stay away from NATO and join firmly Russiatrail of.

“I have no doubt that the only way out of today’s really tense crisis is actually to find a balance of interests. I hope this is what we are going to do today,” Mr. Lavrov said before his speech. Meet with Mr. Brinken.

“In fact, everyone is talking about the escalation of tensions on the border between Europe Russia with Ukraine ——Well, you know how we treat this,” he said. “We…do not want any conflict, but if our NATO partners say, no one has the right to decide whether a country willing to join NATO can join. NATO, we can say that each country can define its own interests to ensure their safety. “

Mr. Lavrov added that NATO’s expansion “would violate security.”

NATO leaders have made it clear in recent months that the organization believes it is time to take action. Ukraine Going further, even this strategy is obviously tiresome Moscow.

“We should provide more support, more training, more capacity building to help them implement reforms, fight corruption, and establish their security and defense institutions,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in 10 Said in a speech at Georgetown University in August.

“We need to make sure that there are many things between no and full members,” he said Ukraine And other neighboring countries.

Some foreign policy experts say that NATO and Ukraine Despite the occupation of Crimea, the fighting in Donbass has convinced Mr. Putin Become more aggressive.

“The first reason heThe upgrade is his The 7 1/2 year war failed in… Donbass.That war was to promote UkraineForeign policy direction Moscow Would agree and heThe result is zero,” said John Herbst, senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasian Center and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Ukraine, Said Thursday.

“On the contrary, you are in a deadlock… it’s not good for both parties Russia nor Ukraine, But it means this is a victory Ukraine Because it can maintain its foreign policy and independence,” he said at a virtual Atlantic Council forum. “The idea is to intimidate Ukraine. “

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