Blinken Says “Too Early” For Russia Sanctions As Hope For Unified NATO Response Unravels
The United States says it’s putting together a “global strategy” to increase gas production among allies in the scenario of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. “The State Department, led by Senior Adviser for Energy Security Amos Hochstein, has in the last six to eight weeks been putting together a global strategy exploring contingency options to redirect and increase gas supplies from different parts of the world, a senior US official said,” CNN reports Sunday. This has included talks with firms in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.
At the same time, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken explained during Sunday news talk show appearances that at this point it’s “too early” to impose sanctions on Russia, despite the current atmosphere of building war rhetoric. He still threatened “massive consequences” for any Russian offensive, yet stressed that US is still leaving the door open for diplomacy. An eventual diplomatic resolution to the crisis is looking more and more likely given the lack of a unified NATO willingness to escalate to the level of armed conflict, particularly given Germany’s breaking with other allies of the last few days, including its refusal to send Kiev German arms. Thus it seems “all options” are not on the table just yet…
Germany opens Nordstream 2, drops plans for US LNG port, refuses UK military overflight, holds direct talks with Moscow on Ukraine outside of NATO
Starting to look like they’ve worked more of this out than they want to let on
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) January 23, 2022
Blinken told CNN’s State of the Union program that “The purpose of those sanctions is to deter Russian aggression and so if they’re triggered now you lose the deterrent effect.” In a separate CBS interview he was asked about UK government accusations that the Kremlin is plotting a coup in Ukraine, aimed at installing a new pro-Moscow leader. Despite Russia’s denials slamming the charge as “dangerous” and “disinformation”, Blinken agreed with the narrative being put out by Britain, calling the sensational allegations “part of the Russian playbook“.
It still remains that as usual the mainstream media’s hyping a looming war appears prematurely far out front in terms of the reality of where things really stand. On this point, Blinken said to CBS: “There is a path of diplomacy and dialogue, which is clearly the preferable one, the most responsible thing to do. There’s also the path of Russian aggression and massive consequences for Russia if it engages in that aggression.”
He added of last week’s and the upcoming days of dialogue with Russia: “And so I tried to make clear both paths in my meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov in Geneva this week, and we’ll see if we can advance the diplomacy.”
The entire EU/NATO axis is unravelling in real time. This is what it’s really about. Not some corrupt country no one can point to. https://t.co/VggcPB8Xxl
— Raheem J. Kassam (@RaheemKassam) January 23, 2022
This even as some leading hawks in the Senate are still calling for movement on applying “very strongest sanctions” possible against Russia, including the type of sweeping export controls currently in place on Iran’s economy. Such US action would undoubtedly result in the complete breakdown of all communications between Moscow and Washington.
But again, given that it’s increasingly apparent that NATO is struggling to put together a unified front in response to Russia security demands, it’s looking like Blinken will have no choice but to begin negotiating with the Kremlin while taking its position much more seriously…
US media won’t talk about this but Western Europe is moving away from US-led NATO and going their own way on relations with Moscow pic.twitter.com/bSy6xFZG3k
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) January 22, 2022
Blinken is opting to stress the path of diplomacy more and more this weekend…
As I said on @MeetThePress with @chucktodd, even as we’re building up deterrence and defense for Ukraine, we are also engaged in diplomacy, which is clearly the preferable path forward for everyone. https://t.co/AxJbLGjfPs
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) January 23, 2022
Without doubt the situation is still highly dangerous, and ripe to unravel in the instance of a single provocation or mishap along the Russia-Ukraine border. The longer that dialogue and negotiations stall, the more the door is open for both sides to tumble into a shooting war.
Sun, 01/23/2022 – 18:15