Western diplomats made a last-ditch push for a peaceful resolution to tensions between Russia and Ukraine at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, emphasizing that diplomacy remained an option up until the possible moment when Moscow launches an attack.
“While we’re convinced that President Putin has made his decision to go, until that — it actually happens — we will leave no stone unturned when it comes to diplomacy,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung. His remarks were made a day after US President Biden stated that the U.S. had cause to believe Putin wanted to invade Ukraine.
Blinken stated that he would still meet with Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, next week in case Russia doesn’t launch an invasion by then. He said that the United States is ready to work with Russia in matters such as the position of its weapons systems.
Blinken described the unprecedented level of cooperation between America and Europe as unimaginable.
” “It’s the result of a very deliberate effort by both sides to accomplish that,” he stated. And that is why we are pursuing diplomatic options, regardless of whether they have any left, it’s done in an entirely coordinated manner. Our response to Russian aggression will be swift, unified and consequential. And if it comes to confronting Russian aggression, we’re also fully coordinated and the response will be swift, unified, and consequential.”
He added that Putin’s actions have produced “the opposite of his aims” by knitting NATO closer together and leading the alliance to shore up its eastern flank.
Pressed in a separate interview with Russian television channel Dozhd TV about the reliability of U.S. intelligence on Putin’s plans, Blinken said that although some information has “turned out to be inaccurate,” U.S. officials are confident in the intelligence. “We are very confident with the information that we have and bring it forward not in order to start war but to stop war,” he stated.
Foreign Ministers from the Group of Seven called for Russia to reduce tensions with Ukraine. In a statement released by the White House, foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the High Representative of the European Union reiterated their “unwavering commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and territorial waters.”
“Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified massing of military forces, the largest deployment on the European continent since the end of the Cold War is a challenge to global security and the international order,” the group wrote. “We call on Russia to choose the path of diplomacy.”