‘Russia wants to drag Ukraine back to the USSR,’ says US chargé d'affaires in Ukraine

16 December 2021, 10:00 PM

U.S. chargé d'affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien, speaking at the Ukraine and the World Ahead Gala 2022 hosted by NV on Dec. 16, said that the United States is working in tandem with the European Union and NATO to prevent a further military escalation between Ukraine and Russia.

“The around 100,000 Russian troops that are currently deployed around the Ukrainian border are clearly meant to intimidate Ukraine and its Western partners into accepting several revanchist demands,” Kvien said.

“Russia aims to plunge Ukraine back into the times of the Soviet Union, and its partners – back into the Cold War; dividing Europe, undoing the stability of the past 30 years.”

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Kvien added that the United States remains Ukraine’s staunchest ally in the face of Russian aggression:

“We’re working closely with the EU and NATO in order to avert the crisis and ensure that Ukraine is free to establish closer ties with Europe. These choices are for Ukraine alone to make – not Russia.”

Kvien quoted U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s statement that it was unacceptable for one sovereign nation to try and tell another who it should associate with. Any attempt to change borders between sovereign states by force is unacceptable, Kvien added.

“We hope that Russia reconsiders and deescalates,” she said. “We believe that the only way forward is the diplomatic one, but if Russia disagrees, it will pay a severe price and face long-term consequences.”

In early December Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said almost 100,000 Russian soldiers had massed next to Ukraine’s borders. According to him, these troops are on high alert, and it was possible Russia could invade.

Officials in the U.S. and Europe remain concerned about the tensions on the eastern border of Ukraine. The foreign ministers of the G7 countries issued a joint statement on Dec. 12 warning Russia about serious consequences and severe costs if it invades Ukraine.

U.S. President Joe Biden clearly indicated during his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Dec. 7 that the United States and its allies would respond to a Russian military escalation with drastic economic sanctions and other measures, the White House has said.

According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Biden told him after his talks with Putin that Russia is unlikely to further escalate the current conflict.

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