‘More and more convergence’ with allies on costs to Russia if they invade Ukraine, says
“I think we are having more and more convergence every day,” the official said Saturday when asked if there is agreement about the first round of costs the US and its allies would inflict on Russia if they became more aggressive towards Ukraine.
There is “obviously technical work that needs to be done,” the official added, but at the political level “there’s a huge amount of convergence about what will unfortunately be necessary if Russia makes that very bad choice.”
The kinds of costs the US and European allies are discussing for Russia are “designed to be implemented very, very fast,” the official said, without detailing what those measures would be. “That is partly why we have chosen the measures that we are working on.”
The official said not only the G7 but a “large number of democratic countries” would join the US in inflicting costs.
“I’ve made it absolutely clear to President Putin,” Biden said. “If he moves on Ukraine, the economic consequences for his economy are going to be devastating. Devastating, number one. Number two, we will find it required that we’ll have to send more American and NATO troops into the Eastern Flank, the (Bucharest) 9, all those NATO countries where we have a sacred obligation to defend them against any attack by Russia. And number three, the impact of all of that on Russia and his attitude, the rest of the world, his view of Russia would change markedly. He’ll pay a terrible price.”
Assistant Secretary of State Karen Donfried will have an opportunity to hear from Ukrainians, including how they see the Minsk agreements, and how they would see the US engaging on that front, the official said.
In Moscow, Donfried will discuss Minsk and “hear the Russians out, in their interest in this European security cooperation,” the official said. But “nothing about them without them,” so she will go on for direct conversations with the allies in Brussels. The conversation may be bigger than NATO; it may also include OSCE countries, the official said.
“What we will do next week is begin to better understand where this might go, but until we talk to our European allies and partners I do not think there will be any negotiating,” the official said.
CNN’s Donald Judd contributed to this report.