Blinken, with Baerbock in Tow, Issues New Threats Against Russia
Jan. 5, 2022 (EIRNS)—In a press conference today with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, following their meeting in Washington, D.C., Secretary of State Tony Blinken delivered yet more threats against Russia, just days away from next week’s U.S. Russia Strategic Stability Dialogue, and talks at the NATO-Russia Council and at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The message he delivered was that the outcome of these talks will depend entirely on Russia, since it is Russia that is at fault—the one threatening Ukraine’s territorial integrity, threatening to invade it “again,” and pushing the “false narrative that Ukraine seeks to provoke a conflict with Russia.” Of course, he said, the U.S. prefers diplomacy, and it will listen to Russia’s concerns, but then insisted that since those have already been aired publicly, it will all really boil down to whether Russia will opt to “de-escalate.” We, he said, “will raise our concerns about Russia’s destabilizing actions and violations of international norms.” This will be a serious dialogue?
Blinken, with Baerbock nodding her head, reported that the two had discussed China as well, underscoring that trans-Atlantic coordination is necessary because China “poses a significant challenge to our shared values; to the laws, rules and agreements that foster stability, prosperity and freedom worldwide.” Germany and the U.S. stand shoulder to shoulder, he said, in deploring China’s “bullying” poor Lithuania.
While lavishing praise on “dear Tony” several times, Baerbock used a slightly less confrontational language, choosing to stress that dialogue and a political solution are the way out of the current conflict, but reported that in their talks, she and Blinken “jointly reiterated that Russian actions and activities come with a clear price tag.” She took credit for seeking dialogue in the Normandy format, failing to mention that Germany and France have actually sabotaged any progress in these talks with Ukraine and also stressed that Germany’s policy toward China will be formulated “jointly” with the U.S.
Although reporters raised other questions, some referencing Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s call for a “new start” in relations with Russia, and Nord Stream 2, it was Blinken who came back repeatedly to the issue of Russia’s past “crimes”—invading Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia—“NATO didn’t do that,” and repeating how much work and coordination had gone into preparing the sanctions Russia would be subject to, should it invade Ukraine.