Secretary Antony J. Blinken at a Press Availability at the NATO Ministerial,

This meeting came at a critical time.  In recent weeks, Russia has stepped up planning for potential military action in Ukraine, including positioning tens of thousands of additional combat forces near the Ukrainian border. […]

Diplomacy is the only responsible way to resolve this potential crisis.  The most promising avenue for diplomacy is for Russia and Ukraine to returnt to dialogue in the context of the Minsk agreements, which aims to end the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.  President Putin said recently, and I quote, “There is no alternative to the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.”  President Zelenskyy has also reiterated Ukraine’s continued commitment to Minsk.

The United States reaffirms our support for diplomacy and for implementing the Minsk agreements.  We call on all sides to restore the ceasefire to July 2020 levels.  And we urge Russia to de-escalate, to reverse the recent troop buildup, to return forces to normal peace-time positions, to pull back heavy weapons and forces from the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, to refrain from further intimidation and attempts to destabilize Ukraine internally, and to leave plans for further military action behind. […]

Question: You’ve just warned Russia of economic consequences, but what exactly are those measures?  Will the U.S., for example, go as far as cutting off Moscow from the global financial system?  And since Russia has already been sanctioned and weathered those sanctions, what makes you think that Putin will be deterred by today’s warning?

Secretary Blinken:  Thank you.  Well, first, let me say that we’ve already demonstrated in the 10 months or so of this administration that we can and we will respond to harmful Russian actions: SolarWinds, election interference, repression against Mr. Navalny, and others.  Should Russia follow the path of confrontation when it comes to Ukraine, we’ve made clear that we will respond resolutely, including with a range of high-impact economic measures that we have refrained from pursuing in the past. Läs artikel