• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Blinken says U.S. has delivered response to Moscow

·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the U.S. has delivered a written response to Moscow's demands, amid Russia's military buildup near Ukraine.

"There are important things to work with if Russia is serious about working with them, and that is up to President Putin and we'll see how they respond," Blinken said at the State Department Wednesday.

The response to Russia, coordinated with Ukraine and European allies, outlines concerns about the things which the U.S. and its allies believe Russia is doing to undermine security and stability, evaluates Russia's concerns, and includes the United States' own proposals for common ground. The U.S. response emphasizes Ukraine's sovereignty, while suggesting "potential for progress" in areas like arms control in Europe and ways to increase transparency and stability, Blinken said. The document responds to a list Russia's foreign minister gave the U.S. last week.

"All told, it sets out a serious diplomatic path forward, should Russia choose it," Blinken said. "... We're open to dialogue. We prefer diplomacy. And we're prepared to move forward where there is the possibility of communication and cooperation, if Russia deescalates its aggression toward Ukraine, stops the inflammatory rhetoric, and approaches discussions about the future security in Europe in a spirit of reciprocity."

The U.S. response has also been delivered to Congress, Blinken said, adding that he'll be briefing members of Congress on the matter Wednesday afternoon. The document will not be released publicly, the secretary of state said.

Still, it's "not a formal negotiating document," Blinken said. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is also responding to Russia.

"There is no daylight among the United States and our allies and partners on these matters," Blinken said.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed the alliance has submitted its own written responses to Russia, "in parallel with the United States."

Blinken said he plans to speak to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the days ahead.

Mr. Biden met virtually with European leaders earlier this week as the countries determine how to handle Russia's threat to Ukraine.

The president said Tuesday sanctioning Putin personally isn't off the table, and the U.S. is considering controlling exports relating to semiconductors if there is an invasion of Ukraine, something Blinken confirmed Wednesday.

The Pentagon has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on heightened alert, should NATO request them.

The embassy in Kyiv will remain open, and the U.S. will continue to provide a "robust presence" there, Blinken said.

Nonetheless, he said, "our message now for any Americans in Ukraine is to strongly consider leaving using commercial or other privately available transportation options," adding the U.S. may extend loans to Americans who can't afford the cost of a commercial ticket.

The State Department has already ordered families of U.S. embassy employees in Kyiv to leave. CBS News has also learned a detachment of eight Marines from the Marine Security Augmentation Unit deployed recently to support an increased security presence at the embassy.

While the U.S. has been working on diplomatic avenues to address the crisis, it's also preparing for the possibility of Russian aggression, he said.

"Right now the document is with them, and the ball's in their court," Blinken said.

CBS News' Christina Ruffini, Olivia Gazis and Eleanor Watson contributed to this report

National Guard filling in for teachers in New Mexico amid state's COVID surge

Justice Stephen Breyer plans to retire from Supreme Court, paving way for Biden's first appointment

Eye Opener: Who President Biden could pick to replace Justice Stephen Breyer on Supreme Court

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting