Sherman said the allies made clear at Wednesday’s meeting that there were areas in which the two sides could make progress, such as arms control. Russia is responsible for the current escalation, “which, to put it mildly, does not create optimal conditions for diplomacy.” The head of the delegation criticized Moscow’s aggressive rhetoric, propaganda and disinformation, as well as the build-up of Russian forces. “As we speak, Russia has withdrawn more than 100,000 soldiers along the Ukrainian border,” he added.
“We’ve made it clear, and told the Russians directly again today, that another Russian invasion of Ukraine would have significant costs and consequences,” the US Deputy Secretary of State said. Sherman reiterated that the Russian promise that she had demanded that NATO would not expand further was out of the question. The allies made it clear to Moscow that “all countries are free to choose their alliances, and they should be so.”
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