Psaki: U.S. consulted with Russia, Ukraine and European countries on situation on Ukrainian border
The United States has held consultations in recent days with Moscow, Kiev and European countries on the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border. Jan Psaki, the White House press secretary, said this at a regular briefing for reporters Friday.
“We’ve had extensive contacts in recent weeks and certainly days with our European allies and partners, including Ukraine, about our concerns about these reports,” she said, explaining that she was referring to “reports of a build-up of forces” by Russia on its border with Ukraine. “And during those meetings, of course, we discussed our concerns about Russia’s military activity and its harsh rhetoric toward Ukraine,” Psaki stressed. “Certainly our conversations with the Europeans are about shared concerns,” Psaki added.
“We have also had discussions with Russian officials about Ukraine and U.S.-Russia relations in general. As we have made clear in the past, escalating or aggressive actions by Russia would be of great concern to the United States. We call for the immediate restoration of the July 2020 ceasefire. We stand with our partner Ukraine and condemn Russian aggression against Ukraine in any form.”
Psaki was also asked why it was the director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, William Burns, who visited Moscow on Nov. 2 and 3 to address “these kinds of diplomatic issues” and not the U.S. Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of State. She was asked to clarify “on whose behalf he was speaking” during this trip to Russia. “He was speaking on behalf of the U.S. government. I will also note that the CIA director is a former ambassador to Russia and a former first deputy secretary of state. So he has a fair amount of experience,” Psaki responded.
Earlier on Friday, General Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Armed Forces Chiefs of Staff, said that the United States currently believes that the maneuvers of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border are not obviously aggressive in nature.
Earlier, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the situation, called the insinuations by the Western media about plans to invade the territory of Ukraine baseless. He reiterated that movements of the Russian Armed Forces on Russian territory should not cause concern to anyone.