Berlin. It’s all about proving unity when Secretary of State Annalena Barbock (the Green Party) and her US counterpart, Anthony Blinken, appeared before the press in Berlin on Thursday afternoon. “Ladies and gentlemen, dear Tony,” Barbock says with a smile — nothing compared to the icy climate during Barbock’s visit to her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Tuesday.
After talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Kiev on Wednesday, Blinken traveled to Berlin on Thursday to meet with Barbuk, the French foreign minister and British deputy foreign minister.
This unit gives us strength.
At the press conference with Barbock, Blinken emphasized close and intense cooperation with European partners. He said that the goal in his meetings in Europe is to coordinate further measures in dealing with Russia. Blinken said it was important for Western allies to speak with one voice on Russian issues. This unity gives us strength. He explained that Russia does not and cannot possess it. This is why “we form voluntary associations and also why Russia is trying to divide us.”
When he meets Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Friday, he will be able to present a view that is also shared by the United States’ European partners. The willingness of the Western allies to resolve the conflict through dialogue has been made clear in every way over the past few weeks, Barbock said. “Unfortunately, Russian behavior continues to speak a different language,” she added.
Blinken Comments on Nord Stream 2
The foreign ministers also reaffirmed their readiness to respond to Russian aggression with swift and harsh sanctions. Blinken said allies are also united on the issue. “Chancellor Schultz made it clear a few days ago,” he said, and Great Britain and France did the same again on Thursday.
The current diplomatic process is difficult, Barbock said, “but in light of the silence that has prevailed in the past two years, it is a good and important indication that there are further talks now.”
Barbock and Blinken also talked about the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. “It’s worth noting that gas is not flowing through the pipeline yet, which means it’s leverage for Germany, the United States and our allies, not Russia,” Blinken said. This will also be taken into account in Russia when considering the next steps.
In a subsequent speech at the Atlantic Bridge Association in Berlin, Blinken said the current conflict is greater than the conflict between Russia and NATO, and that it is a crisis with global repercussions. He said that allowing Russia to violate the principles of sovereignty and the right of peoples to self-determination “would take us all back.” Blinken said he would send a message around the world that these principles are being violated.
The US Secretary of State said that Russia in the conflict is not concerned with its own security – this would be more jeopardized than an invasion of Ukraine. The Russian government is doing everything in its power to destabilize Ukraine. Nor can it be excluded that Russia created a reason to invade the neighboring country under the wrong indication. “Ukraine is not the aggressor here, Ukraine is just trying to survive,” Blinken said.
Blinken wanted to meet Chancellor Olaf Schultz on Thursday night before his trip to Europe ends on Friday in a supposedly less friendly atmosphere with a meeting with his Russian counterpart Lavrov in Geneva.
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