KYIV — Russia faces “massive consequences” if it chooses “the path of aggression” with Ukraine, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said, as he called on Moscow to engage in diplomacy to end a crisis brewing with Ukraine and the West.
In an interview with RFE/RL on January 27, Blinken said Washington still doesn’t know what the Kremlin’s endgame is for Ukraine, or for its demands to rewrite Europe’s existing security structure.
“I maintain that the only person who can tell you what the Kremlin endgame is is [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin. I don’t think anyone else knows. And he may not even know at this point because what he’s done in the past, and what I believe animates the way he approaches things, is to create as many options as possible. And they run the gamut,” Blinken said.
The top U.S. diplomat spoke one day after the United States formally presented its written response to Russia’s ultimatums, released last month in the form of two draft treaties.
The Russian demands have been accompanied by the deployment of more than 100,000 Russian troops to regions near Ukraine’s borders, along with some of Russia’s most sophisticated military hardware.