military alliance.the U.S. delivered the response to the Kremlin’s demands that the Biden administration crafted after consulting with European and Ukrainian leaders.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the document, which won’t be released publicly, presented “core principles that we are committed to uphold and defend,” including Ukrainian sovereignty and autonomy from Russian influence.
“Whether they choose the path of diplomacy and dialogue, whether they decide to renew aggression against Ukraine, we’re prepared either way,” Blinken said during a Wednesday press conference.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has read the U.S. response, according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.
“All the papers are with the President. It will take some time to analyze them, we will not rush to any conclusions,” Peskov said.
“There is not much cause for optimism,” he added.
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The U.S. and Russia are still in talks to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict even as Russian troops exercise in the region and the U.S. sends heavy weaponry to Kyiv.
Both sides are preparing for the worst as diplomats await decisions in Moscow and Washington. Russia launched military exercises on Tuesday in Crimea and southeast Russia, while Ukraine continues to receive military aid from NATO countries.
The U.S. has also put 8,500 troops on “high alert” to be deployed at any moment to allied NATO countries, but not to Ukraine. Other NATO countries have either already deployed troops to eastern allies like Romania, Poland and the Baltic countries or are preparing to do so.
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Ukrainian officials say they do not see a Russian attack as imminent, given the current build up on the border.
On Wednesday, Blinken also met with his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, where Blinken “underscored the global security and economic risks posed by further Russian aggression against Ukraine,” according to a State Department press release.
Wang in turn called “on all parties to stay calm and refrain from doing things that agitate tensions and hype up the crisis,” according to a statement from China’s foreign ministry.
Contributing: Courtney Subramanian subramanian