“I am here today not to start a war, but to stop one”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield at the United Nations in New York on February 17.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield at the UN in New York on February 17. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty Images)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he was talking to the United Nations about Russia and Ukraine “not to start a war, but to prevent one.”

“I am here today not to start a war, but to prevent one. The information I present here is confirmed by what we have seen before our eyes for many months. And remember that although Russia has repeatedly mocked our warnings and alarmed them as rhetorical and meaningless, they have steadily amassed more than 150,000 troops on the Ukrainian border as well as the ability to launch an invasion. large-scale military attack. It’s not just us that see this. Allies and partners see it too,” Blinken said.

He called on Russia to use diplomacy as a solution to the crisis.

“And Russia isn’t just listening to us. The international choir is getting bigger and bigger,” the US official said. “If Russia did not invade Ukraine, then we would be relieved because Russia changed course and proved our prediction wrong. That would be a much better outcome than the current route. us and we will gladly accept any criticism that anyone directs at us.”

Blinken said he had sent a letter to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov asking them to meet next week in Europe. He is also proposing meetings of the NATO-Russia Council and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

“These meetings could pave the way for a summit of key leaders in an analytical context to gain insights into our common security concerns,” he said.

He said Russia is likely to respond with denials that the US is “causing hysteria”.

“The Russian government can declare today without qualification, status or diversion that Russia will not invade Ukraine, have made it clear, made it clear to the world – and then proved it. do that by sending your troops, tanks, planes back to the hangar and sending diplomats to the negotiating table In the coming days, the world will remember that commitment. done,” he concluded.

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