Russia has made a collection of calls for of the West, together with scaling again the NATO navy presence in Japanese Europe to Nineteen Nineties ranges and guaranteeing that Ukraine might by no means be a part of NATO. (Mr. Putin has lengthy been vehemently against Ukraine, a former pillar of the Soviet Union, becoming a member of NATO, a place he final made forcefully clear when Russian forces reclaimed Crimea in 2014.) America has known as these calls for “non-starters’’ and as a substitute supplied a collection of proposals geared toward arms management.
“What I do learn about Putin is he likes uncertainty,” mentioned Michael A. McFaul, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia. “He has leveraged that previously for benefit. He’s forcing Biden’s hand and everyone else’s.”
Subsequent week, the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, is scheduled to go to Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv and Moscow, recent from a go to to Washington the place he and Mr. Biden promised a “united” entrance on shutting down Nord Stream 2, a profitable Germany-to-Russia gasoline pipeline undertaking, ought to Russia invade Ukraine.
Russia’s international ministry dismissed American speak of conflict as mere propaganda.
“A coordinated info assault is being carried out in opposition to Moscow,” the ministry mentioned in a press release, together with a listing of earlier Western warnings of a doable imminent invasion. That messaging, it mentioned, is “geared toward undermining and discrediting Russia’s honest calls for for safety ensures, in addition to at justifying Western geopolitical aspirations and navy absorption of Ukraine’s territory.”
Maria Zakharova, the ministry spokeswoman, wrote on the Telegram app: “The White Home’s hysteria is as revealing as ever. The Anglo-Saxons want conflict. At any worth.”
Mr. Sullivan disagreed with the concept informing Individuals of Russia’s navy capabilities was the identical as calling for a conflict. “We try to cease a conflict. Stop conflict. To avert a conflict,” he instructed reporters.
American officers have warned of a grim toll if Mr. Putin proceeds with a navy invasion of Ukraine, together with the potential deaths of 25,000 to 50,000 civilians, 5,000 to 25,000 members of the Ukrainian navy and three,000 to 10,000 members of the Russian navy. Mr. Sullivan mentioned on Friday that officers believed that an assault would probably begin with missile and aerial assaults, and proceed with a floor invasion.