By Humera Pamuk and Simon Lewis
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – All options are on the table to respond to a “large and extraordinary” increase in Russian troops near the Ukrainian border, and NATO will decide on the next step after consultation next week, the US ambassador said on Friday. For European affairs.
“All options are on the table and there is a kit that includes a wide range of options,” Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Danfried told reporters by phone.
US President Joe Biden has said he is concerned about the situation in Ukraine and echoes Washington’s support for Ukraine’s regional unity, and will talk to Ukrainian Presidents Volodymyr Gelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin “at all possible options”.
The remarks come ahead of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s visit to Latvia and Sweden next week to attend meetings of the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) in NATO and Europe.
Karen Tanfried said the “big and extraordinary” increase in Russian troops would be at the top of the NATO summit agenda.
“The coalition must now decide what NATO wants to take next,” he said. “Next week we will talk about our assessment of what is happening on the Russian-Ukrainian border, and begin this conversation about what options are at the table and what NATO wants to do as an alliance.”
US, NATO and Ukrainian officials have raised concerns in recent weeks about unusual Russian troop movements near Ukraine, saying Moscow could launch an offensive against its neighbor, branding Russia as provoking fear.
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