The United States said Monday it was in full agreement with European allies on the severity of the response to any Russian invasion of Ukraine, and on the urgency of the threat.
“There is no ambiguity,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters. “There is no daylight. We know that, and importantly, the Russian Federation knows that.”
Europe in recent days has appeared to fall out of step with the United States over the Ukraine crisis, with Washington seeming to judge a Russian offensive as potentially imminent and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warning against “alarmist” reactions.
Tensions have soared over Moscow’s deployment of some 100,000 troops and heavy armor at its neighbour’s borders, despite the Kremlin’s insistence it is not planning a new incursion almost eight years after it seized Crimea.
Price said “we don’t see the difference you refer to” when asked about the apparent EU-US discord.
“The threat that we are seeing is clear not only to us, but clear to any casual observer,” he added.
Both US President Joe Biden and his top diplomat Antony Blinken were in contact with European leaders on Monday to finalize the written response to Moscow’s demands that Washington is expected to deliver to the Russians this week, Price said.
“If any Russian forces move across the border (into Ukraine), that’s a renewed invasion,” he added.
“It’ll be met with a swift, severe and united response on the part of the United States and on the part of our allies,” he warned, despite reports of disagreements within NATO over the scale of any response, particularly from Germany.