US concerned Russia may attack Ukraine again: reports

US officials have voiced growing concerns that Russia may be tempted to repeat its 2014 attack on neighbouring Ukraine as Moscow continued to move troops along the shared border, news outlets have reported.  

Antony Blinken

Antony BlinkenPAP/EPA/PAOLO GIANDOTTI / QUIRINAL PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday hosted his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, telling reporters afterwards that „a rehash” of the 2014 aggression would be „a serious mistake” for Russia, the Bloomberg news agency reported.

In 2014, Moscow annexed the Crimea peninsula and stoked tensions in eastern Ukraine, while „claiming falsely that it was provoked,” Blinken said, according to Bloomberg.

He added that, as yet, there was no „clarity into Moscow’s intentions,” behind the latest military activity, but stressed that the United States’ commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence was „ironclad,” US broadcaster CNN reported on its website.

Kuleba said he and Blinken had discussed concrete action both countries would take in the event of a Russian offensive, according to the Polish website energetyka24.com.  

Kuleba added that the Kremlin was playing a complex game involving coercive use of its energy supplies, „propaganda efforts, disinformation, cyberattacks and military buildups” as well as a migrant crisis, energetyka24.com reported. 

The Ukrainian top diplomat told reporters that one of the aims of his meeting with Blinken was to dissuade Russia from escalating its conflict with Ukraine, according to the Polish website.

Meanwhile, Blinken said Washington was watching closely Moscow’s policies during a burgeoning energy crisis, especially whether it was using energy deliveries as a weapon, energetyka24.com reported.

He added that a US-German agreement giving conditional approval to the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany remained in place, according to Poland’s PAP news agency. 

Under this deal, Russia could face sanctions for any attempts to weaponise energy, PAP reported.

Both Blinken and Kuleba called on Berlin to honour the agreement, „especially because it has the tools to put Moscow under pressure,” the Ukrainian foreign minister said, according to PAP. 

„I would like to emphasise that Nord Stream 2 isn’t just a problem for Ukraine, but for Europe at large,” Kuleba was quoted as saying.

(pm/gs)

Source: energetyka24, PAP, bloomberg.comcnn.com

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