The head of the American Foreign Ministry pointed to Russia’s failure to fulfill its obligations during a meeting with his European counterpart Josep Borrell.
The United States is ready to continue a substantive conversation with Russia on mutual security issues. This was stated by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a joint press conference with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell. He added that in case of Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Kremlin will face real and serious consequences.
“We have developed highly effective measures that will entail huge costs for the Russian economy and financial system, including sanctions and significant export controls, which will have long-term consequences and deprive Russia of the technologies it needs in key sectors,” the head of the U.S. Foreign Ministry said.
According to him, the United States is also working to reduce European dependence on Russian gas.
“We are negotiating with governments of other countries and major producers around the world to increase their production and distribution capacities in order to coordinate with our allies and partners within the framework of stakeholders in the energy sector, including how best to share energy reserves in case Russia “turns off the tap” or initiates a conflict that disrupts gas supplies through Ukraine,” Antony Blinken stressed.
The head of European diplomacy supported the U.S. Secretary of State, stressing that energy issues are central to the Ukrainian-Russian crisis.
“Russia does not hesitate to use energy supplies to Europe as a lever of geopolitical advantage,” Borrell said. – And when gas prices in the European Union are now six to ten times higher than a year ago, ten times higher – this has a great impact on consumers and on the competitiveness of the economy. That is why our immediate priority is to diversify energy sources, in particular gas flows, in order to avoid interruptions in supplies from our main supplier, which is Russia.”
Antony Blinken also said that the way to resolve the conflict in Ukraine is diplomacy.
“The United States and Ukraine are united in the fact that the implementation of the Minsk agreements is the way forward to resolving the conflict in the Donbas, which arose as a result of Russia’s invasion in 2014, and the best way to restore its sovereignty,” Antony Blinken said. – In recent years, Ukraine has repeatedly tried to move forward in the implementation of the Minsk agreements with the help of the Normandy format. Ukraine is striving to move forward on most of the points [written in the Minsk agreements], if not all of them. At the same time, Russia has not fulfilled practically any of its obligations under the Minsk agreements.”