Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday said the United States would initiate a “swift” and “severe” response if Russia’s military enters Ukraine.
“If a single additional Russian force goes into Ukraine in an aggressive way, as I said, that would trigger a swift, a severe, and a united response from us and from Europe,” Blinken said in response to a question about sanctions during a CNN interview on Sunday morning. He did not elaborate on what penalties the United States would hand down.
His comment came as tens of thousands of Russian troops have amassed near Russia’s border with Ukraine in recent days amid fears that Moscow is planning to invade its neighbor. In 2014, Russia used its military forces to annex the Crimean Peninsula, a move that drew sanctions from then-President Barack Obama.
Moscow has long said that it has no plans to invade Ukraine.
While the United States said it has engaged in diplomacy with Russia in a bid to ease tensions, no breakthroughs have occurred. Blinken said that while it is preferable to use diplomatic means, other measures are on the table.
“At this point … the choice is Vladimir Putin’s and there, the paths are clear: diplomacy, dialogue, seeing if we can build collective security in a way that is good for everyone is clearly the preferable path but we’re prepared,” Blinken told CNN Sunday.
His comments came days after his boss, President Joe Biden, publicly discussed the possibility of tolerating a “minor incursion” by Russia in Ukraine. Biden later attempted to clarify his remark by saying Moscow will “pay a heavy price” if the country is invaded.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News on Sunday that Blinken made a “much stronger statement” Sunday than Biden did earlier in the week. However, he argued that the Biden administration should go a step further.
“If there’s room for doubt, if there is space, Vladimir Putin will drive a truck through that gap,” Pompeo said.
Russia will also face severe economic sanctions by the United Kingdom if it installs a puppet regime in Ukraine, said British Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab during a Sky News interview on Sunday, citing a UK foreign ministry report on the country’s plans that was scant on evidence.
“There’ll be very serious consequences if Russia takes this move to try and invade but also install a puppet regime,” Raab said. The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed Raab’s comments as “disinformation,” accusing the United Kingdom and NATO of “escalating tensions.”
From The Epoch Times