JN/Agencias Today at 00:46The US ambassador to the UN said Monday that she “wants to believe” that Moscow has no plans to invade Ukraine, but warned that so far the indications given by Russia point to “moves in that direction”. “I wish it were true that they don’t have plans. But everything we’ve seen so far indicates that they are making moves in that direction,” said Linda Thomas-Greenfield, when asked if she believes in the words of Moscow, who reiterated today that she has not “any intention to attack” the neighboring country. The diplomat stressed that the US and its allies continue to prepare and plan a response if Moscow “takes any action against Ukraine”. But he said it would be “a good thing” if Russia decides not to go ahead with an invasion due to US involvement “over the last few weeks”, including talks between US President Joe Biden and his counterpart Vladimir Putin. For Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the objective remains “to find a diplomatic path and avoid conflicts” but the progress of talks with Russia can only happen within a context of de-escalation. “In the coming days, the United States will continue to make every effort to reduce the escalation, dialogue and diplomatically resolve the situation”, he stressed, quoted in a press release. If Russia chooses “the path of conflict”, the US and allies are prepared to impose huge costs on the Russian economy, bolster NATO’s presence in frontline allied states and increase defensive assistance to Ukraine, he assured. Russian and US negotiators discussed the situation in Ukraine this Monday in Geneva, with Moscow asserting it had “no intention of attacking” the neighboring country and Washington reiterating warnings about a possible invasion. The Russian negotiator assured that there was still “no reason to fear an escalation of the situation in that plan”. But Riabkov also indicated that Washington should not “underestimate” the risk of a confrontation, and assured that the Americans “take very seriously” the warnings issued by Moscow, in particular about the consequences of an eventual enlargement of NATO towards East. US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, present at the discussions, in turn indicated that Russia did not respond to the US request for “de-escalation” on the Ukrainian border. Russian military escalation on the Ukraine border will be discussed again this week at Russia’s meeting with the Atlantic Alliance in Brussels on Wednesday and at the Permanent Council meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Thursday. On Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also warned Russia of the risk of “confrontation”. Westerners anticipate a possible Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory, such as the one in 2014 that culminated in the annexation of the Crimean peninsula. Russia demands a commitment from NATO not to integrate Ukraine into the military alliance, which Blinken pointed out is not on the table.
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