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Blinken: ‘We’re prepared either way’ to counter Russian aggression

There was a flurry of exercise in current weeks because the Biden administration and European counterparts attempt to deter Russia from attacking Ukraine, the place Russia has constructed up a large troop presence alongside the 2 nations’ shared border.

Blinken mentioned there are a number of areas the place a compromise may very well be reached, if Moscow desires to pursue that pathway, whereas emphasizing that a number of objects Russia has introduced up in discussions are nonstarters — corresponding to barring Ukraine from becoming a member of the NATO alliance.

“I used to be very clear with Overseas Minister [Sergey] Lavrov, as we’ve been, that there’s sure fundamental ideas that we’re not by one iota going to compromise on,” he mentioned. “Together with, for instance NATO’s open door, the correct of nations to select with whom they’ll affiliate, which alliances they’ll be a part of.”

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Blinken additionally supplied assurances that the USA and others will forcefully meet any Russian navy maneuver into Ukraine — a degree that the administration has burdened repeatedly within the days after President Joe Biden rankled Ukrainian leaders by discussing the potential for stomaching a “minor incursion.”

“If a single extra Russian power goes into Ukraine in an aggressive approach, as I mentioned, that will set off a swift, extreme and united response from us and from Europe,” Blinken mentioned.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned Blinken made a “a lot stronger assertion” Sunday than Biden did earlier within the week however added that the present administration wants to go additional to keep off Russia.

“If there’s room for doubt, if there may be area, Vladimir Putin will drive a truck by that hole,” Pompeo mentioned on “Fox Information Sunday.”

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