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22 Feb, 2022 07:52

US promises reaction if Russia maintains constant tension

Keeping tensions at a constant “low-boil” is not acceptable, said Secretary Blinken
US promises reaction if Russia maintains constant tension

Even in the absence of a full-scale Russian “invasion” of Ukraine, Moscow’s incitement of tensions still warrants a response from Washington, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday.

Speaking to CBS, Blinken declared that even if tensions were kept at a “low-boil” by Russia, he would still deem this “unacceptable.” Such behavior, albeit more preferable to a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, would nonetheless trigger a response from Washington.

The secretary of state’s statement comes less than a week before he is due to meet with Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov in Europe. Washington has already warned that the exchange would not go ahead should an invasion occur.

Blinken was asked on air whether Russia’s refrain from a full-blown military offensive gave Moscow a “carte blanche” to continue to simmer tensions more subtly, for example, through repeated cyberattacks on Ukraine’s online infrastructure.

“It’s not acceptable … That is a scenario by which Russia just keeps things at a low or medium boil. And there will be a response to that too,” Blinken insisted in response.

According to the US, however, the more likely scenario is a military incursion into Ukraine, resulting in full-blown Russian occupation. In recent weeks, Moscow’s placement of thousands of troops near the Ukrainian border, as well as Russian-Belarusian joint military training drills, have led some to believe that war is inevitable.

On Friday, US President Joe Biden declared that “Russia will invade in the coming days.”

However, despite Washington’s predictions of imminent war, Blinken stressed that, in his role as a diplomat, he was determined to leave “absolutely no stone unturned” in his hunt to find a non-violent solution to the crisis in Ukraine.

“Until we know that the tanks are rolling, the planes are flying, and the aggression has fully begun, we’re going to do everything we can to prevent it,” the diplomat promised viewers on Sunday.

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