‘More and more convergence’ with allies on costs to Russia if they invade Ukraine, says State Department official

“I think we are having more and more convergence every day,” the official said Saturday when asked if there is an agreement on the first round of costs that the United States and its allies would inflict on Russia if they became more aggressive towards Ukraine.

There is “obviously technical work that needs to be done,” the official added, but at the political level “there is a lot of convergence on what, unfortunately, will be needed if Russia makes that very bad decision.”

The kinds of costs that US and European allies are discussing for Russia are “designed to be implemented very, very quickly,” the official said, without detailing what those measures would be. “That is part of the reason why we have chosen the measures we are working on.”

The official said that not only the G7, but a “large number of democratic countries” would join the United States to impose costs.

During a news conference Saturday about the deadly tornadoes and storms that hit the Midwest and South, President Joe Biden was asked about the consequences for Russia should they invade Ukraine.

“I made it absolutely clear to President Putin,” Biden said. “If it moves over Ukraine, the economic consequences for its economy will be devastating. Devastating, number one. Number two, we will find that we need to have to send more US and NATO troops to the eastern flank, on (Bucharest) 9, all Those NATO countries where we have a sacred obligation to defend them from any attack by Russia. And number three, the impact of all that on Russia and their attitude, the rest of the world, their vision of Russia. would change remarkably. It will pay a terrible price. “.

Under Secretary of State Karen Donfried will have the opportunity to hear from Ukrainians, including how they view the Minsk accords and how they would view the United States participating on that front, the official said.

In Moscow, Donfried will discuss Minsk and “listen to the Russians, in their interest in this European security cooperation,” the official said. But “none of them without them”, so he will continue in direct talks with the allies in Brussels. The conversation may be bigger than NATO; It may also include OSCE countries, the official said.

“What we will do next week is start to better understand where this could go, but until we talk to our European allies and partners, I don’t think there will be any negotiations,” the official said.

CNN’s Donald Judd contributed to this report.


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