On Sunday evening in Geneva, Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman will meet with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov over a working dinner to discuss the topics for the Strategic Stability Dialogue on Monday, per a State Department spox
At talks in Geneva the US is willing to discuss with Russia the possibility of reciprocal limits on missile deployments in the region, says a US official
Negotiating with Russia the force posture or number of US troops in Europe is "not on the table" during upcoming talks in Geneva, a US official tells reporters
Senior Admin official says topics up for discussion in talks with Russianext week include: -Missiles, both in Ukraine and intermediate-range missiles elsewhere in Europe. -Military exercises close to each other's borders, including bombers and ground-based exercises
New York Times: U.S. has discussed with allies cutting off Russia's largest financial institutions from global transactions, imposing an embargo on some American-made technology, and arming insurgents in Ukraine if Russia invades the country
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Jens Stoltenberg: Always good to meet @EU_Commission President @vonderleyen. We discussed Russia's military buildup in & around Ukraine & implications for European security. NATO continues to coordinate with our strategic partner the EU as we prepare for the meeting in the NATO-Russia council
Secretary Antony Blinken:Diplomacy is the only responsible way to resolve this crisis. We are committed to meaningful reciprocal dialogue with Russia & consultation and coordination with our Allies & partners. We prefer diplomacy, but stand ready to respond to further Russian aggression against Ukraine
"It is in our direct interest that the reinforcement of NATO's Eastern Flank took place now and immediately," - Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of @Riigikogu @markomihkelson
Joint Forces Operation: 3 ceasefire violations yesterday
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MFA of Canada: Canada and our @NATO allies are united in our support for Ukraine and its people. Russia must de-escalate and engage in meaningful dialogue— any military incursion into Ukraine will have serious consequences, including coordinated sanctions
US Department of State: In fact, we have been clear with Russia, publicly and privately, that should Russia further invade Ukraine we would reinforce our @NATO partners on the eastern flank, to whom we have sacred obligation as Allies
US Department of State: It is not accurate that the administration is developing options for pulling back U.S. forces in Eastern Europe in preparation for discussions with Russia next week, which we told NBC while they were reporting this story
NSC spox Emily Horne responds to @NBCNews report, telling @MollyNagle3, "It is not accurate that the admin is developing options for pulling back US forces in E. Europe in preparation for discussions with Russia next week, which we told NBC while they were reporting this story
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met with Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde today and discussed shared concerns on Russia’s military build-up on Ukraine’s borders.
Making non-starter demands to create a pretext for invasion is "certainly part of [Russia's] playbook," Blinken tells @CBSNews @EenaRuffini, "but there are also issues where we can engage"
Blinken: "We would far prefer a diplomatic solution to a crisis that Russia has brought forth. That's what next week's meetings.. are all about." "It will be very difficult to make actual progress if Russia continues to escalate its military buildup & its inflammatory rhetoric
"They want to draw us into a debate about NATO, rather than focus on the matter at hand, which is their aggression toward Ukraine," Blinken says. "We won't be diverted from that issue"
Russia is also undertaking a "significant effort to push propaganda against Ukraine, NATO and the United States," Blinken says. "No one should be surprised if Russia instigates a provocation or incident, then tries to use it to justify military intervention" he says
Blinken in his presser notes that Russia's claims that NATO is threatening Russia is false. NATO "exists to protect, not to attack," he says. "NATO never promised not to admit new members. there was no promise that NATO wouldn't expand"
Blinken says Russia has nearly 100,000 troops at Ukraine's border today, with "plans to mobilize twice that number on very short order
"We're prepared to respond forcefully to further Russian aggression," @SecBlinken says, "but a diplomatic solution is still possible - and preferable - if Russia chooses it
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Training at Opuk firing range in Crimea
.@SecBlinken spoke with Ukrainian Foreign Minister @DmytroKuleba about Russia's military buildup on Ukraine's borders, and upcoming diplomatic engagements with Russia. "No conversations about Ukraine without Ukraine”
Russia - "They are gradually building up with more forces, more capabilities" per @NATO's @jensstoltenberg "We see armored units. We see artillery.We see electronic warfare equipment" re Ukraine
.@NATO: "We regret that despite the calls of the int'l community over many weeks, Russia has not taken steps to deescalate" per SecGen @jensstoltenberg. "The Russian military build-up continues with tens of thousands of combat troops & heavy capabilities"
NATO chief won't be drawn on size & speed of any increase in troops to bolster NATO defences should Russianewly invade Ukraine, but says: "We have significant capabilities. We have troops. We have the readiness. We have the plans to be able to protect and defend all allies"
"When Russia is now finally ready to meet, we should welcome that fact" per @NATO SecGen @jensstoltenberg
"For us there is contradiction between deterrence & dialogue" with Russia, per @NATO SecGen @jensstoltenberg Says there is a lot to discuss, inclu. arms control
@NATO SecGen @jensstoltenberg says alliance must be prepared for possibility talks with Russia over Ukraine break down & if Moscow uses force vs. Kyiv - "There will be severe consequences, a high price to pay" with economic, financial & political sanctions, he says
In terms of where NATO is ready to engage with Russia, @jensstoltenberg says it's ready to talk about "balanced, verifiable" arms control. But he rejects any suggestion of meeting "1-sided" demands that could result in 2nd class NATO members that alliance isn't allowed to protect
Describing Russia's troops presence in & around Ukraine, NATO chief says "Russian military build up has not stopped. It continues." He lists "armoured units, artillery, combat-ready troops, electronic warfare equipment and a lot of different military capabilities"
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"We must be prepared for the possibility that diplomacy [with Moscow] will fail," warns NATO SecGen Stoltenberg
NATO chief @jensstoltenberg, referring to Russia's military build-up around Ukraine, says the "risk of conflict is real". He says it's positive that Russia will come to table to talk next week but says the alliance must be prepared for possibility the dialogue may fail
The Russian government prematurely terminated financing of the Federal Target Program for the Development of Crimea and Sevastopol
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Russia continues to strengthen its Black Sea Fleet: Sredne-Nevsky built, Russian Navy Project12700 BSF 68th Coastal Defense Ship Brigade, 150th Tactical Group's Aleksandrit-class mine countermeasures vessel Georgiy Kurbatov was towed thru Bosphorus for the first time towards Black Sea
Iran says it paid $150,000 to every family of Ukrainian plane victims
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Lukashenka in his Christmas speech: this year will be the year of uniting states into unions. We should unite with our brothers: Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. We will do everything to take back Ukraine
Joint Forces Operation: 2 ceasefire violations yesterday
Jens Stoltenberg: Spoke with President @niinisto about the security situation in Europe and Russia's build-up in & around Ukraine. We call on Russia to de-escalate. We continue to coordinate with our close partner Finland. NATO respects the right of every country to choose its own path