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Blinken, Estonian Foreign Minister call on Russia to de-escalate in Ukraine

Over the past months, Russia has amassed more than 150,000 troops around Ukraine's borders.

Antony Blinken. Photo: Reuters

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. File photo: Reuters

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday met Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Eva-Maria Liimets and called on Russia to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine.
"Met with Foreign Minister @ELiimets to discuss our strong partnership and regional security issues. We are united in calling on Russia to de-escalate and engage in diplomacy with @NATO and Ukraine," tweeted Blinken.
Earlier, Blinken while speaking on Russia's threat to peace and security at the UN Security Council (UNSC), said, "I did not address the @UN Security Council today to start a war but to prevent a war. The information I presented is validated by what has been unfolding in plain sight before our eyes for months."
Over the past months, Russia has amassed more than 150,000 troops around Ukraine's borders.
"Russia says it's drawing down those forces. We do not see that happening on the ground. Our information indicates clearly that these forces - including ground troops, aircraft, ships - are preparing to launch an attack against Ukraine in the coming days," said Blinken.
"We don't know precisely how things will play out, but here's what the world can expect to see unfold. In fact, it's unfolding right now, today, as Russia takes steps down the path to war and reissued the threat of military action," added the US State Secretary.
Blinken also said that Russia was planning to manufacture a pretext for its attack through a violent event that Russia will blame on Ukraine or an outrageous accusation that Russia will level against the Ukrainian Government.
"If Russia has no plans to invade Ukraine, then it can clearly demonstrate that by sending its troops, tanks, and planes back to their barracks and hangars and send its diplomats to the negotiating table," said Blinken.
He also said that Russia can make a choice and solve the issue in a diplomatic way. "There is another choice Russia can still make - the diplomatic path is the only responsible way to resolve this crisis. We are presenting every opportunity for Russia to demonstrate that commitment," said Blinken.
However, Blinken said that Russia has "repeatedly derided our warnings and alarms as melodrama and nonsense" while steadily amassing more than "150,000 troops on Ukraine's borders, as well as the capabilities to conduct a massive military operation.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Feb 18 2022 | 6:45 AM IST

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