US, Germany say Russia poses “urgent” challenge to stability |

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WASHINGTON • Senior US and German diplomats reiterated on Wednesday that they would impose consequences on Russia for an invasion of Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock stressing the need for a diplomatic solution to heightened tensions between Moscow and the West.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his newly installed German counterpart met at the State Department ahead of a series of meetings with Russian officials in Europe next week.

Alarmed by Russia’s military build-up along the Ukrainian border, Washington has rallied its European allies to threaten Russia with sanctions in an attempt to defuse tensions.

“Strong transatlantic solidarity is the most effective response and the most effective tool at our disposal to counter Russian aggression,” Blinken said, reiterating his pledge to go further than all previous sanctions against Russia and “To inflict very significant costs on the economy and finances of Russia. system ”in case Russia invades Ukraine.

Baerbock said Russia was aware that it was the “common position” of Europe and the United States to impose “serious consequences” in the event of an invasion, but did not specify the sanctions the Germany would take.

“There is no alternative to a political solution. This must be clear to the Russian government, ”Baerbock said, according to a live interpretation of his comments following his meeting with Blinken.

Ukraine accuses Russia of having assembled around 100,000 troops for a possible invasion, raising fears that a latent conflict in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region could degenerate into open warfare between neighboring former Soviet republics. US President Joe Biden has vowed to continue providing military assistance to Ukraine to defend against possible Russian aggression.

Baerbock said Germany is supporting the Ukrainian armed forces with medical supplies.

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