Blinken urges diplomatic solution to Ukraine crisis during Berlin talks

Berlin, Jan 20 (EFE).- The United States secretary of state insisted on Thursday that he still favors a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis but warned that further acts of aggression would cost Russia massively.

During his visit to Berlin, Antony Blinken said that meetings in recent days with the US’ European partners were aimed at following a diplomatic path to de-escalate the spiraling tensions with Moscow over Ukraine.

“That unity gives us strength, a strength which I must add, that Russia cannot match,” Blinken said, alongside German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock.

The top US diplomat said that Washington was still pursuing a diplomatic solution but warned that “if Moscow chooses the path of further aggression, we will impose swift and massive costs.”

Blinken, who is meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz later on Thursday, pointed out that “gas is not flowing through Nord Stream 2 yet, which means the pipeline is leverage for Germany, the United States and our allies, not for Russia.”

Nord Stream is a system of pipelines running under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany providing much of Europe with natural gas.

Baerbock, meanwhile, said that despite the US and the European Union’s willingness to engage in dialogue, Russia’s behavior shows Moscow is “speaking a different language”, adding that its “disturbing activities” are on the rise.

The German official, who said she would soon visit Ukraine with her French counterpart Yves Le Drian, said defending peace in Europe was a priority even if it would damage the continent’s economy.

On Wednesday, Blinken kicked off a tour of Europe with a meeting with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba in Kiev, where he promised them support.

Blinken is set to meet his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Geneva on Friday.EFE


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