The United States, along with its Allies and partners, has underscored its readiness to impose significant costs on Russia if it takes further military action against Ukraine. At the same time, we have stressed our preference for de-escalation through diplomacy. The United States laid out clear principles ahead of talks with Russia. First, we will not commit to anything about Europe without Europe. Second, any discussions must be reciprocal. Third, genuine progress can only take place in a climate of de-escalation.
The United States has approached this week’s diplomatic engagements with Russia – in the bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue, the NATO-Russia Council, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) – closely aligned with our European Allies and partners, including Ukraine, after extensive consultations. In recent weeks, President Biden has spoken to leaders across Europe. Officials across the U.S. government – including at the National Security Council, State Department, Defense Department, Treasury Department, Energy Department, and U.S. Agency for International Development – have engaged frequently with their European counterparts.
Highlights of the Biden Administration’s close coordination with Allies and partners in recent weeks include:
- President Biden has spoken with 16 European leaders to discuss European security issues and to develop a coordinated and comprehensive transatlantic approach.
- Secretary Blinken has held more than two dozen calls and meetings with foreign leaders and foreign ministers to discuss our coordinated response to Russia’s military buildup along Ukraine’s border. In addition, he has participated in ministerial meetings at the G7, NATO, and the OSCE as well as engaged with the EU and Ukrainian leadership.
- Secretary Austin has spoken with eight of his European counterparts about security issues in Europe and Russia’s destabilizing actions in the region. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Milley has similarly engaged military leaders across Europe.
- National Security Advisor Sullivan has coordinated extensively with his European counterparts, having made dozens of calls to bilateral counterparts across Europe from the EU and Turkey to Finland and Romania. He has also convened calls in multilateral formats, including with the Nordic countries, eastern flank Allies, and France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and the UK. He has also been in regular contact with his Ukrainian counterpart.
- The Biden Administration is in constant contact with Ukrainian officials. In the last few weeks, President Biden has spoken twice to President Zelenskyy. Secretary Blinken has spoken twice with President Zelenskyy and twice with Foreign Minister Kuleba. National Security Advisor Sullivan has spoken seven times with Head of Presidential Administration Yermak. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Milley has spoken four times with Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Zaluzhny. In addition, senior officials at the State Department and Defense Department engage regularly with their Ukrainian counterparts.
- The Biden Administration has sought close consultations with NATO’s eastern flank Allies given their security concerns, including calls both bilaterally and in the Bucharest Nine (B9) format by President Biden, Secretary Blinken, National Security Advisor Sullivan, and other Administration officials.
- The Biden Administration continues to work closely with the European Union. President Biden hosted EU Commission President von der Leyen. Secretary Blinken spoke with European Council President Michel and High Representative Borrell. Senior officials in the State Department and National Security Council have held numerous calls and meetings with their EU counterparts, including in Brussels. The Administration welcomed the December 2021 European Council Conclusions that expressed the EU’s readiness to impose severe economic consequences if Russia further invades Ukraine. Officials from the Treasury Department, State Department, and National Security Council continue to engage with EU counterparts to coordinate our sanctions response.
- In addition to extensive consultations at NATO, the Biden Administration has engaged with NATO partners – including Georgia, also a victim of Russian aggression, as well as Sweden and Finland – to discuss their views on European security.
- Senior Administration officials remain in regular contact with their counterparts. In addition to the interactions listed below, scores of calls have also been made by Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer, Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried, and other officials across the U.S. government. Our recently confirmed ambassadors to NATO and the OSCE, Julianne Smith and Michael Carpenter, have also worked closely with their counterparts.
OVERVIEW OF DIPLOMATIC ENGAGEMENTS
Below is an illustrative list of consultations undertaken by the Biden Administration in advance of talks with Russia. This list is not exhaustive or comprehensive, as there have been extensive calls and meetings at all levels of governments and across numerous agencies, but it demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to remain in lockstep with Allies and partners. Engagements with Ukraine