Monday, March 4

Blinken achieves a united front with Europe if Russia advances in Ukraine

Correspondent in Berlin



Antony Blink he is only coordinating the closing of European ranks before meeting face to face this Friday with Lavrov, in Geneva, and in Berlin he has not encountered any resistance. The US Secretary of State He has found in his German, French and British counterparts, with whom he has held a videoconference from the German capital this Thursday, a seamless understanding. The German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, has even toughened her speech by declaring after the meeting with Blinken: “We demand urgent de-escalation steps from Russia” and once again warned that anything else will entail “harsh economic, financial and also strategic consequences ». “The United States and European partners will act with one voice on Russia and Ukraine”, Blinken celebrated, as if with this triumph he had already overcome one of the most serious difficulties, “when it comes to Russia, our unity gives us strength ».

Blinken continues to identify as his first objective “to prevent further steps by Russia towards Ukraine”, in order to preserve a constellation of forces that has guaranteed Europe’s security since World War II. “We cannot choose the path that Moscow takes, but we can make clear the serious consequences of that choice,” he said, “if any Russian force moves across the Ukraine border, it will be met with a united, severe and swift response.” . He is aware that “Russia has many tools in its catalog apart from absolute military action” and has assured that it is “observing all possible scenarios that Russia can take advantage of, working to define a coordinated response with partners” for each of them. , among those you mentioned «hybrid attacks and paramilitary attacks». He goes to tomorrow’s meeting still hoping to find a way to dialogue and has stated that the Normandy format is perfectly compatible with the rest of the contacts.

“We cannot choose the path that Moscow takes, but we can make clear the serious consequences of that choice. If any Russian forces move across the Ukraine border they will be met with a united, stern and swift response,” Blinken said.

“The only way is dialogue, it is what we continue to think”, the German minister reiterated that same idea, also open to “all formats”. “But unfortunately Russia speaks another language, such as the expansion of the deployment of troops on the border or the announcement of maneuvers,” he lamented, without evaluating the latest events as a strong position by Moscow in the face of the talks in Geneva. .

Secret visit to Europe

The truth is that European diplomacy considers the situation “a very serious risk of conflict” and that the US is also preparing for all scenarios. In Washington the press has published that the head of the CIA has made a secret visit to Europe to prepare the intelligence ground. President Biden has also told reporters there that “it will be a disaster for Russia” if he invades Ukraine, raising his speech a notch. But both Blinken and Baerbock still see “an opportunity.”

The joint press conference has made it clear that, as Ukraine is asking, the United States and the EU are trying to avoid repeating the mistake of 2014, when “the West was confused, indecisive and slow, and this allowed Russia to commit many crimes and kill many Ukrainian citizens”, in the words of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba.

Only Macron has slightly hinted at a desire to talk to Russia independently of the United States.

Also the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has stated that “European nations are firmly behind the need to protect Ukraine’s independence.” “The EU is by far Russia’s largest trading partner and by far its largest investor,” he added, trying to outline the scale of the threat, “and yes, this relationship is important to us, but it is much more important to Russia.” . Only Macron has slightly hinted at a desire to speak with Russia independently of the United States, of which, according to the statements made in Berlin, there is no trace after the four-way conversation.

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