Europe is going through the “most dangerous moment” for its security since the end of the Cold War, although a “diplomatic solution” with Russia on Ukraine remains “possible”, the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said on Monday in Washington. Asked about U.S. warnings about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, Borrell said he “shared a great concern” about this threat.
“We are certainly living, in my opinion, the most dangerous moment for security in Europe after the end of the Cold War,” he said.
“No one concentrates 140,000 heavily armed troops on the border of a country” without this “representing a strong threat,” he said, estimating that there are more Russian troops at the gates of Ukraine than the 110,000 mentioned in recent days by U.S. officials.”140,000 soldiers stationed at the border, they are not there for tea!” exclaimed Borrell.
Alongside him, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken denied that there is “scaremongering” in Washington’s warnings.”It’s not scaremongering, it’s just the facts,” he said at a joint press conference. The United States and European powers accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of planning a possible invasion of Ukraine and threatening massive economic sanctions if he does.
“We do not believe that Putin has made a decision, but he has put the means, in case he decides to do so, to act very quickly against Ukraine in a way that would have terrible consequences for Ukraine, Russia, and for all of us,” the head of US diplomacy insisted.
Both assured, however, that the diplomatic route has not yet been exhausted.”We believe that a diplomatic solution to this crisis is still possible,” Borrell summed up. “We hope for the best, but we prepare for the worst.”
U.S. officials say Moscow has assembled 110,000 troops near the border with Ukraine and is on track to amass a large enough force – some 150,000 soldiers – for a full-scale invasion within weeks.Blinken denied Washington’s stance was alarmist, saying: “This is not alarmism. This is simply the facts.”
Both the United States and European Union are threatening to retaliate with unprecedented economic sanctions should Russian President Vladimir Putin move ahead with an invasion of neighboring Ukraine.We don’t believe that Mr President Putin has made a decision, but he has put in place the capacity, should he so decide, to act very quickly against Ukraine, and in ways that would have terrible consequences for Ukraine, for Russia, but consequences also for all of us,” said Blinken.
Nevertheless, both Blinken and Borrell stressed that diplomacy was still hard at work to bring the standoff to a peaceful resolution.”We believe that a diplomatic way out of the crisis is still possible,” summed up Borrell. “We hope for the best, but we prepare for the worst.