rick rozoff

Biden, NATO chief, NATO Quint, EU leaders jointly threaten Russia with reinforced eastern flank, “massive consequences”
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 24 2022

For the army of scribblers who have recently made a cottage industry out of discovering fissures in the edifice of the US/NATO/EU triumvirate vis-a-vis Russia. Not that the following will in any fashion slow them down. The accursed monolith has been painstakingly crafted for over thirty years and won’t be dismantled without a comprehensive effort. The Russian government, through TASS, reacted to the Western threat by in part celebrating the withered olive branch of yet more negotiations over the West’s non-negotiable points offered by its friends, to which, aptly, a fable by the 18th Century Russian poet Krylov is appended below.

Readout of President Biden’s Video Call with European Leaders on Russia and Ukraine
White House, Jan 24 2022

President Biden held a secure video call with European leaders today. They reiterated … their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The leaders underscored their shared desire for a diplomatic resolution, but the leaders also discussed their joint efforts to deter further Russian aggression against Ukraine, including preparations to impose massive consequences and severe economic costs on Russia for such actions as well as to reinforce security on NATO’s eastern flank. They committed to continued close consultation with transatlantic Allies and partners, including working with and through the EU, NATO, and the OSCE. Participants in the call included European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, President Emmanuel Macron of France, Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, PM Mario Draghi of Italy, NATO Sec-Gen Jens Stoltenberg, President Andrzej Duda of Poland, and PM Boris Johnson of the UK.

Ivan Krylov: The Wolves and the Sheep

The wolves so plagued the sheep, that life was not worth living;
It got so bad, that in the end,
The rulers of the beasts, their best attentions giving
Sought how the sheep they might defend.
So High Commissioners were summoned to attend;
Now, some of these were wolves, the truth to tell;
But wolves there are of whom report speaks well;
Such honorable wolves – and oft the story’s told,
With proofs that cannot be rebutted –
Were seen to walk right past the fold
In perfect peace – when they were fairly glutted;
Then why refuse a vote to wolves of good repute?
The sheep may claim a hearing for their suit: –
No reason there, the wolves to persecute!
Deep in the forest’s wilds the Council opens session,
To every plea gives due expression,
And drafts a law quite perfect and complete;
And word for word this law I here repeat: –
“So soon as wolf on fold shall make aggression,
And sheep thereby suffer from oppression,
Then straightway shall that sheep be free,
No matter who that wolf may be,
To seize him by the throat, and drag to judgment-seat
In nearest copse or wood.”
There’s nothing left to add, and nothing to delete;
Only the way it works is not so good.
For though the court, they say, is scrupulously fair,
The sheep may plaintiff or defendant be –
The dragging’s never done by him, and he
Has yet to make his first appearance there.

Invasion canard aside, US/NATO must deploy more troops against Belarus, Russia in Baltics: Estonian PM
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 24 2022

Kallas calls for more US forces in Baltics
ERR.ee, Jan 24 2022

Russia’s biggest deterrence is the American flag, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas told the Financial Times while calling for more US forces to be brought to the Baltics. Kallas told the newspaper that NATO should strengthen its presence in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania whether Russia invades Ukraine or not. She told Sky News while talking about the demands Russia has made to roll back NATO troops on the eastern flank: “The biggest deterrence there is that you have big friends. If you are bullied at school, the bully doesn’t bully you if you have strong and big friends, and it’s the same with deterrence. The biggest deterrence to Russia is an American flag. What I’m really happy about is that NATO allies have been very united in this stance and not given an inch to Russia.” Latvia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkevics echoed Kallas’ call on Monday, writing on social media that it is time for NATO to increase its presence in the region. He wrote: “We are reaching the point where continuous Russian and Belarusian military buildup in Europe needs to be addressed by appropriate NATO countermeasures. It is time to increase allied forces presence in the Alliance’s Eastern flank both as measures of defense and deterrence.”

Blinken, EU’s 27 FMs coordinate actions against Russia
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 24 2022

Ukraine-Russia crisis: EU foreign ministers meet to coordinate strategy with US
DW.com, Jan 24 2022

Foreign ministers from the EU’s 27 member states met in Brussels on Monday in a bid to hammer out a response to a feared invasion of Ukraine by Russia. After the meeting, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said there is “unity” among member states on “quick and determined” action from the bloc, should Russia invade. Borrell added the EU has pledged to support Ukraine in “key areas” including countering cyberattacks and hybrid threats, such as Russian disinformation campaigns. The meeting was joined by US Sec State Blinken by videoconference. Later, President Biden is expected to discuss Ukraine with European leaders, including EC President Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, among others. The meeting in Brussels took place as NATO announced it would send additional jets and ships to deployments in Eastern Europe amid invasion fears. Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said the bloc was ready to hit Moscow with “never-seen-before” sanctions if Russia attacks Ukraine. During the meeting, EU Commission head von der Leyen announced a fresh €1.2b aid package for Ukraine.

NATO’s closest allies: Finland, Sweden consolidated for war with Russia, Belarus
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 24 2022

Press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Pekka Haavisto and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Ann Linde
NATO, Jan 24 2022

Jens Stoltenberg: inland and Sweden are NATO’s closest partners. We face the same challenges, in the Baltic Sea region and beyond. Our forces have trained and exercised together for many years. We continue to share information and situational awareness. And both Finland and Sweden have contributed to NATO missions and operations, from the Western Balkans to Iraq. The worsening security situation in Europe makes NATO’s cooperation with Finland and Sweden even more important. Today, we discussed Russia’s continued military build-up in and around Ukraine. For instance, Denmark is sending a frigate to the Baltic Sea and will deploy more jets to Lithuania as part of our Baltic air policing mission. France has expressed its readiness to send troops to Romania under NATO command. The Netherlands is sending fighter aircraft to Bulgaria for air policing, and is putting units on standby for the NATO Response Force. Spain is sending ships to join NATO naval forces in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, and considering sending jets to Bulgaria. And the US, for the first time in decades, put a carrier strike group under NATO command. We are considering to further enhance our presence in the eastern part of the Alliance. This could include the deployment of additional NATO battlegroups. Let me be clear: NATO will not compromise on core principles.

Note how all three Scandinavians are comfortable speaking NATO’s language, English.

Ukrainian DM: “First line of terrorist defense forces” being formed
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 24 2022

Defense Minister: First line of territorial defense forces already being formed in Ukraine
112.international, Jan 24 2022

The Minister of Defense of Ukraine Alexei Reznikov states that the first line of territorial defense forces is already being formed in the country. He stated this during a briefing. Reznikov said: “The first line of terrorist defense forces is currently being formed in peacetime. I would like to remind you that according to the law, the number of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has been increased by 11k, of which 10k are territorial defense forces and one thousand are special operations forces that must ensure the resistance movement.” According to Reznikov, the command of the territorial defense forces, 4 regional terrorist territorial defense departments and the corresponding number of battalions have also been formed. He also said that volunteer groups would be deployed if necessary to protect critical infrastructure also in small towns. Earlier, it was reported that more than 150 battalions will be created as part of the deployment of the territorial defense system in Ukraine, and weapons will be assigned to each soldier.

Daily Mail: Biden poised to deploy 50k US troops, warplanes, warships to Eastern Europe
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 24 2022

‘Total unanimity’: Biden hails Zoom meeting with European leaders over Ukraine as he orders 8.5k US troops to prepare to deploy to Eastern Europe to fend off Russia and plans to send up to 50k soldiers to NATO allies
Daily Mail, Jan 24 2022

The NATO Response Force has recently been tripled in size to 40k rapidly-deployable, combat-ready troops and its Very High Readiness Joint Task Force consists of 20k, as stated by Pentagon spox John Kirby in the video below. Biden is poised to deploy US forces: President is in ‘final stages’ of identifying military units of up to 50k troops, warships and aircraft to send to NATO allies in Eastern Europe over fears Russia is about to invade Ukraine. Biden is finalizing his plans to deploy US forces as Russia posies itself to invade Ukraine, a new report revealed as the president faces backlash from Ukraine for pulling embassy personnel and considers deploying up to 50k American troops. CNN reported Monday that several US officials claim the administration is in the final stages of identifying which military units to send to Eastern Europe to deter Russia and is preparing orders should they decide to deploy troops. Biden is considering deploying up to 50k US troops as well as aircraft and warships to eastern Europe. The plan would see between 1k and 5k soldiers sent to NATO nations such as Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, which border Russian territory. Troop numbers could then be increased up to 50k if the security situation deteriorates, backed up by fresh deployments of ships and aircraft. Pentagon officials presented the plan to Biden during a summit at Camp David over the weekend, convened to discuss military options.

Donetsk, Russia warn that Ukrainian build-up on borders heralds attack on Donetsk, Lugansk
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 24 2022

Kremlin sees Kyiv’s military build-up near LPR, DPR border as preparations for offensive
Interfax Russia, Jan 24 2022

Ukraine’s military buildup along the border with the self-proclaimed Luhansk (LPR) and Donetsk (DPR) People’s Republics indicates ongoing preparations for an offensive, and such threat really exists, the Kremlin said. Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “Indeed, the Ukrainian authorities are massing enormous forces and hardware along the border with the self-proclaimed republics on the contact line. Indeed, the nature of this buildup points to ongoing preparations for an offensive, and such a threat does exist at the moment. And, indeed, each given piece of weaponry, whether it be a defensive weapon or an offensive one, once again prompts the hotheads in Kyiv to launch this operation. We can’t help but be concerned about it. We’ve been talking about it for a long time. And in this case we certainly would like NATO countries in their numerous statements to call on Kyiv every time to not even contemplate any possible military settlement in Ukraine.”

Kiev actively preparing for forceful resolution of Donbass conflict, DPR says
TASS, Jan 24 2022

Ukraine continues its attempts to destabilize the situation in Donbass and is actively preparing to resolve the conflict by force, Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) People’s Militia deputy head Eduard Basurin stated Monday. The emergency statement, published in the People’s Militia’s Telegram channel, says: “Ukraine not only continues its attempts to destabilize the situation in Donbass by shelling settlements, and preparations are well underway to resolve the conflict by force. The People’s Militia command strongly urges its adversary to drop its criminal intents.” The People’s Militia registered Ukrainian Armed Forces’ (UAF) inside the Kiev’ force operation in Donbass preparing for an offensive. According to Basurin, the Ukrainian command is pulling the UR-77 self-propelling minesweepers to the contact line, and military vehicles are being prepared for combat. Vacations for all personnel in individual battalions and brigades have been suspended, while all commanders were ordered to remain in their temporary deployment locations. In addition, commissions arrived in tank battalions from brigade headquarters to supervise the preparation of weapons and combat vehicles. The DPR intelligence also obtained information about the formation of armored brigades deeper in Ukrainian territory and their dispatch to Donbass. Furthermore, Ukraine is relocating forces from their permanent deployment location in the Odessa region, disguised as a “planned tactical special exercise.” All these facts confirm that the UAF is preparing for aggression against the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Basurin says. The People’s Militia stated that it will provide a response, should Kiev commence the forceful resolution of the Donbass conflict, and it will cause irreparable damage to the UAF. “Acts of Ukrainian aggression against the DPR and LPR will not be left without an appropriate reaction. The Ukrainian army will suffer irreparable damage that it will not recover from,” Basurin said, calling on Ukrainian servicemen to “reject taking part in hostilities and executing the criminal orders of their command.”

Donetsk Republic head confirms US Javelin anti-tank missiles present in Donbass
TASS, Jan 24 2022

US-made Javelin anti-tank missile systems are present on the territory of Donbass, Head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Denis Pushilin said in a live broadcast on the Rossiya-1 TV Channel on Monday. “As for the Javelins, they are present on the territory of Donbass but not at the engagement line,” the DPR head said. The information on deliveries of NLAW anti-tank missile systems to Ukraine has so far not been confirmed. Meanwhile, Ukraine continues conducting reconnaissance with the help of Turkish-made Bayraktar drones “actually on a daily basis,” he added.

It can’t get any worse: Belarusian president says US pushing for war
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 24 2022

Lukashenko hits back at threats of US Dept of State
BelTA, Jan 24 2022

The Belarusian leader said: “Just a day ago I was told about the threats from the US Dept of State. They came to our diplomats in New York and laid out their threats: They will impose sanctions if we allow Putin and Russia this or that. If we decide to host nuclear weapons, they will do that. They have this patronizing tone towards Belarus. So I want to draw their attention to what I said when I visited Luninets. There’s not much we can add. We don’t need war. The US, using Poland and Latvia, is pushing for this war. Look, it cannot get any worse. But if they want to bring us to the brink of an abyss, they know how we will respond to that. In the context of the situation developing around us, here in the region, and given Washington’s recent statements, we will have to defend the borders of our country. We know how to do it, and we will do it for sure.”

Mediterranean, Black Seas: 12-day NATO drill to practice “high-end maritime warfare capabilities of carrier strike group”
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 24 2022

NATO Kicks Off Vigilance Activity Neptune Strike 2022
NATO, Jan 24 2022

Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO and US Sixth Fleet commenced NATO-led activity Neptune Strike 2022 from the Sixth Fleet flagship Mount Whitney (LCC 20), Jan 24. The activity is planned to run until Feb 4. Neptune Strike 2022 highlights the natural evolution of NATO’s ability to integrate the high-end maritime warfare capabilities of a carrier strike group to support the defense of the Alliance. Neptune Strike 2022 accomplishes the long-planned handover of command and control of the Truman Carrier Strike Group from Sixth Fleet to Strike Force NATO and the wider Alliance. It represents a strong sign of transatlantic unity and readiness. Neptune Strike 2022 is the execution phase of a long series of activities known as Project Neptune, conceptualized in 2020. The activity focuses on overcoming the complexities of integrating command and control of a carrier strike group to NATO. Previous events in the Neptune series include table-top exercises at Sixth Fleet HQ in Naples last year, and a Strike Force NATO embark in 2021 aboard Mount Whitney called Neptune Challenge. Neptune Challenge integrated the two staffs aboard Mount Whitney in the Black Sea and developed the necessary procedures enabling the successful start of Neptune Strike.

Invoking collective defense, NATO puts forces on alert, sends more warplanes, warships to Eastern Europe
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 24 2022

NATO Allies send more ships, jets to enhance deterrence and defence in eastern Europe
NATO, Jan 24 2022

NATO Allies are putting forces on standby and sending additional ships and fighter jets to NATO deployments in eastern Europe, reinforcing Allied deterrence and defence. In the past days, a number of Allies have made announcements regarding current or upcoming deployments. Denmark is sending a frigate to the Baltic Sea and is set to deploy four F-16 fighter jets to Lithuania in support of NATO’s long-standing air-policing mission in the region. Spain is sending ships to join NATO naval forces and is considering sending fighter jets to Bulgaria. France has expressed its readiness to send troops to Romania under NATO command. The Netherlands is sending two F-35 fighter aircraft to Bulgaria from April to support NATO’s air-policing activities in the region, and is putting a ship and land-based units on standby for NATO’s Response Force. The US has also made clear that it is considering increasing its military presence in the eastern part of the Alliance. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “I welcome Allies contributing additional forces to NATO. NATO will continue to take all necessary measures to protect and defend all Allies, including by reinforcing the eastern part of the Alliance. We will always respond…through strengthening our collective defence.”

NATO putting troops on alert, sending additional ships, fighters to eastern Europe amid amassing Russia’s troops

NATO is putting its armed forces on alert and sending additional ships and fighter jets to Eastern Europe in connection with the build-up of Russian military forces near Ukraine. “NATO Allies are putting forces on standby and sending additional ships and fighter jets to NATO deployments in eastern Europe, reinforcing Allied deterrence and defence as Russia continues its military build-up in and around Ukraine,” a statement published on the NATO website reads. The communiqué says that in the past days, a number of Allies have made announcements regarding current or upcoming deployments. Thus, according to the statement, Denmark is sending a frigate to the Baltic Sea and is set to deploy four F-16 fighter jets to Lithuania in support of NATO’s long-standing air-policing mission in the region. Spain is sending ships to join NATO naval forces and is considering sending fighter jets to Bulgaria. In addition, France has expressed its readiness to send troops to Romania under NATO command. The US has also made clear that it is considering increasing its military presence in the eastern part of the Alliance. NATO is also expecting that the Netherlands will send two F-35 fighter aircraft to Bulgaria from April to support NATO’s air-policing activities in the region, and will put a ship and land-based units on standby for NATO’s Response Force.

Reports from Ukraine: US, NATO allies and partners begin mass evacuation of personnel
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 24 2022

US evacuates its staff from embassy in Kyiv
112.international, Jan 24 2022

Mass withdrawal of diplomats: Which countries might evacuate their staff from Ukraine?
112.international, Jan 24 2022

The evacuation of diplomats has already been announced in the US, Britain, Germany, and Australia. Several other countries are preparing for such measures.

UK partially withdraws diplomatic staff from Kyiv due to ‘growing threat from Russia’
Interfax Ukraine, Jan 24 2022

France advises its citizens not to travel to Ukraine because of Russian invasion threat
112.international, Jan 24 2022

Germany allows relatives of diplomatic staff members in Ukraine to leave country
Interfax Ukraine, Jan 24 2022

Ukraine asks for weapons – and Canada makes evacuation plans
CBC Canada, Jan 24 2022

Former NATO chief urges evacuation of Dutch nations
Netherlands Times, Jan 24 2022

Austria can evacuate embassy staff from Kiev if necessary – top diplomat
TASS, Jan 24 2022

Australia starts evacuating families of diplomats from Kyiv, urges its citizens to leave Ukraine
112.international, Jan 24 2022

Israel said preparing for potential need to evacuate Ukrainian Jews in case of war
Times of Israel, Jan 24 2022

Israel planning mass Jewish evacuation from Ukraine – media
RT.com, Jan 24 2022

Japan eyes evacuating nationals in Ukraine amid military tensions
Kyodo News, Jan 24 2022

Three more airlines refuse to stop overnight in Kyiv amid threats of Russian invasion
112.international, Jan 24 2022

Cleared by US, Estonia to deliver “dozens and dozens and dozens” of Javelin missiles to Ukraine, howitzers could follow
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 24 2022

Estonia’s Ambassador: Dozens of Javelin missiles ready for dispatch to Ukraine
UkrInform, Jan 24 2022

Estonia will hand over American Javelin anti-tank missile systems to Ukraine as soon as possible after receiving permission from the US. Ambassador of Estonia to Ukraine Kaimo Kuusk said in an interview with RFE/RL’s project Donbass Realities: “The coming weeks [scheduled dispatch]. This is a normal procedure as we had to ask for permission and get it. The US did everything very quickly, without unnecessary bureaucracy. That’s why we have Javelin missiles in Estonia, ready to be dispatched to Ukraine. And we are talking about dozens, dozens, dozens and dozens of missiles. I do not want to name a specific number, but it is really impressive.” According to him, if the escalation grows, Estonia is ready to expand support for Ukraine, in particular, to transfer 122-mm howitzers D-30. However, this requires the permission of other countries: Germany as a producer and Finland as the previous owner. On Jan 21, the defense ministers of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia announced that their countries had received the necessary permission from the US to send weapons to Ukraine and would continue to work together to deliver them as soon as possible.

On Blinken’s orders, Lithuania to transfer Stinger missiles to Ukraine
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 24 2022

Lithuania to transfer Stinger missiles, thermal imagers to Ukraine
UkrInform, Jan 24 2022

Lithuania will transfer US-made Stinger man-portable air defense systems to the Ukrainian army and thermal imagers to the Ukrainian special forces. The ministry recalled that Latvia would also provide MANPADS to Ukraine. Estonia plans to transfer Javelin anti-tank missiles. This assistance is granted after the US government approved the transfer of US-made equipment to a third country. According to the report, a draft resolution of the Government of Lithuania, prepared by the Ministry of Defense, provides for the free transfer to the Ukrainian Armed Forces of 24 thermal imagers belonging to the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Their cost exceeds €342k.

Blinken on Sunday news shows: Russian actions are threat to entire world
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 24 2022

From transcripts of three Jan 23 broadcasts. His tone and language are typical of those used toward a country Washington is preparing to attack. Not only the government but the people are viewed contemptuously, even dehumanized with statements like “This is very much part of the Russian playbook” and “Engaging in diplomacy doesn’t take the word ‘nyet’ off your vocabulary,” both of which he repeats at least once.

Blinken With Dana Bash of CNN SOTU
State Dept, Jan 24 2022

SECRETARY BLINKEN: Last week we sanctioned four agents of Russia, Ukrainians in Ukraine, seeking to destabilize the government. So this is very much part of the Russian toolkit. It runs the gamut from a large conventional incursion or invasion of Ukraine to these kind of destabilizing activities in an attempt to topple a government. And it’s important that people be on notice about that possibility. We’ve given Russia two paths, a path of its renewed aggression and massive consequences that we have been building now for many weeks. And it’s not just us that’s saying it. The G7, the world’s leading democratic economies, have been clear about that. The European Union’s been clear about that. NATO’s been clear about that. And as we’re doing that, we’ve provided more defensive assistance, military assistance, to Ukraine last year than at any time in the past. I just authorized, myself, the provision of American-origin military equipment that’s with third countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, to get to Ukraine. And we are in intense, regular, constant communication, consultation, with allies and partners to make it very clear that these massive consequences will follow. I was very clear with Foreign Minister Lavrov, as we’ve been, that there are certain basic principles that we’re not by one iota going to compromise on, including, for example, NATO’s open door, the right of countries to choose with whom they’ll associate, which alliances they’ll join. Even as we engage in diplomacy and dialogue, something that I do for a living, it doesn’t take the word “no” out of your vocabulary. And as we’re doing it, we’re building up our defense, we’re building up our deterrence, to make sure that Russia understands that if it doesn’t follow the diplomatic course, if it renews its aggression, there will be very significant consequences. The US taking the lead in bringing countries throughout Europe and even beyond together in putting together massive consequences for Russia if it takes renewed aggressive action in Ukraine, as I mentioned, we’re providing and last year alone provided more military assistance to Ukraine than at any year in the past. We have been going against those inside Ukraine trying to destabilize the government. So we’re taking concrete action. One of the things that we’ve been very clear about besides the massive economic financial consequences that would befall Russia is the ongoing, continued build-up of defense capacity in Ukraine and, equally, continuing to build up NATO’s defensive capacities, including on the so-called eastern flank, the countries near Russia. And the Alliance is looking at very practical and important measures that it would take. 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. And again, there are other things that Russia could do that fall short of actually sending additional forces into Ukraine, and again, across the board we’re prepared with Europe for a swift and calibrated and very united response. We’re looking at every single scenario, preparing for every single one. (On Biden comparing the current situation to WW2) He’s exactly right. And again, this underscores why this is so important not just for Ukraine, not just for Russia, not just for Europe and the US, but for the world, because what’s at stake here.

Blinken With Chuck Todd of NBC Meet the Press
State Dept, Jan 24 2022

SECRETARY BLINKEN: We’ve been concerned and have been warning about exactly these kind of tactics for weeks, and we’ve talked about that publicly, that Russia would try to in some way topple or replace the government. Just a few days ago we sanctioned four Russian agents in Ukraine who were engaged in destabilizing activities. This is very much part of the Russian playbook. It’s also important that people around the world, whether it’s in Europe, the US or beyond, understand the kinds of things that could be in the offing: a false flag operation to try and create a false pretext for going in. It’s important that people know that that’s something that’s in the playbook too. There’s no question of capitulation. The question is whether there are ways to advance our collective security. One thing that’s important to remember, as someone who engages in diplomacy, engaging in diplomacy doesn’t take the word “nyet” of your vocabulary. We have been clear that first, in the event that there is a renewed Russian incursion, Russian forces going into Ukraine, there is going to be a swift, severe and united response. But we’ve also been clear that there are other things, we were just talking about this, that Russia could do short of sending forces into Ukraine again to try to destabilize or topple the government: cyber-attacks, hybrid means et cetera. And there we’ve also been clear there’ll be a swift response, there’ll be a calibrated response, there’ll be a united response. And so what we’re doing, and I’ve been engaged in close consultations with all of our European allies and partners, including in Europe last week on the phone virtually every day, to make sure that across all of these scenarios we have a clear and united response. And we will. This is a concern that should extend not only to Europe and the US, but in a sense it should concern the entire world, because what’s at stake here is not simply the relationship between Ukraine and Russia or even between Europe and Russia or the US and Russia. If you let that go unchecked, that opens a Pandora’s box that countries far away from Europe will take into account. I sat with Chancellor Scholz just last week for an hour and listened very carefully to him. I’ve been on the phone and saw my own German counterpart, Foreign Minister Baerbock. And I can tell you that the Germans very much share our concerns and are resolute in being determined to respond and to respond swiftly, effectively, and in a united way. I have no doubts about that. We are not sitting still. Even as we’re engaged in diplomacy, even as we’re engaged in dialogue, we are building up defense, we’re building up deterrence. We’ve now provided to Ukraine more security assistance this year than in any previous year. We have rallied allies and partners around the world. We are preparing massive consequences for Russia if it invades Ukraine again. Ultimately, we’ve given Russia two paths. It has to choose. If we need to make a determination that we should draw down some of the folks at the embassy, we’ll do that based on the security needs.

Blinken With Margaret Brennan of CBS Face the Nation
State Dept, Jan 24 2022

SECRETARY BLINKEN: There is a path of diplomacy and dialogue. There is also the path of Russian aggression and massive consequences for Russia if it engages in that aggression. And so I tried to make clear both paths in my meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov in Geneva this week, and we’ll see if we can advance the diplomacy. But even as we’re doing that, we’re preparing, building up defenses, building up deterrence, if Russia chooses the other path. We have rallied allies and partners across Europe in a very intense way over the last weeks to make very clear that there would be massive consequences for renewed Russian aggression. We provided more military assistance to Ukraine last year than in any previous year. We’ve been going after agents of Russia in Ukraine seeking to destabilize the government. I just approved the transfer of US-origin military technology in other countries to Ukraine. So we are proceeding on both paths at the same time. We’ll be ready either way. The choice is Vladimir Putin’s. This is about more even than Ukraine and Russia, more even than Europe-Russia, the US-Russia. We are very much focused on building up defense, building up deterrence, both for Ukraine, NATO itself. NATO itself will continue to be reinforced in a significant way if Russia commits renewed acts of aggression.

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