The State Department warned of the possibility of new sanctions against Russia

A senior State Department official told reporters details of talks between Anthony Blinken and his Ukrainian counterpart

Russia’s aggressive actions in eastern Ukraine and near its borders were the main topic of Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba, on Tuesday. A senior State Department official told reporters.

Blinken met with Kuleba on the sidelines of a NATO-Ukraine Council meeting in Brussels to discuss the escalation in Russian-Ukrainian relations and aggressive actions by Moscow.

“The Secretary of State … expressed the serious concerns we have (about Russia). We know Russia’s capabilities as well as its ability to take aggressive action, but we don’t know their intentions,” the source said.

According to him, during the talks, Dmytro Kuleba noted that, judging by the “insanity and disinformation” in the Russian media, “Putin’s regime seems to be preparing public opinion for some kind of action against Ukraine.

Russia must understand that any “reckless action” on its part would have dire consequences in the form of sanctions, a State Department source said. At the same time, he did not rule out the possibility that new sanctions against Moscow could be imposed as soon as possible, saying: “Be patient.”

Answering the question about the likelihood of Ukraine’s joining NATO, the source said that during the meeting they talked about expanding Ukraine’s partnership status in the North Atlantic Alliance, including in the form of conducting exercises and providing Kiev with support in the security sphere. At the same time, the issue of Ukraine’s accession to the alliance is not raised at the moment, the State Department representative stressed.

Blinken and Kuleba also exchanged their views on the construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline. Both countries are concerned about this “dangerous project,” and the United States will continue to work with Germany on the issue, the State Department official said.

 

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