The United States Government and its European allies begin discussions that aim to counter Russia's possible invasion of Ukraine.
The US and European allies have issued statements before that warn Russian President Vladimir Putin his country will face grave consequences and "severe costs" if Kremlin pursues military intercession in Ukraine.
The series of meetings will jump-start on Wednesday between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. The meeting in Washington will focus more on the potential economic, diplomatic, and political actions against Russia, the Associated Press reported.
Germany holds the biggest economy and is considered as a heavyweight in terms of diplomatic relations within the European Union composed of 27 nations.
It will be followed by a series of meetings next week that involves NATO foreign ministers, senior U.S. and Russian officials, the NATO-Russia Council and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Last Sunday, US President Joe Biden had a conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The former assured the United States support and it will "respond decisively" if Russia pushes to invade the Eastern European country, as per Washington Post.
In late December 2021, Biden had a 50-minute phone call with Putin, urging the latter to take actions to resolve the conflict with Ukraine, with warnings of economic consequences if Russia proceeds with an invasion. However, the conversation had no significant results, according to CNN.
Germany's Key Role
In December, Baerbock has issued warnings that there will be consequences for Moscow if it takes any militaristic moves that violate the statehood of Ukraine. The new German foreign minister also stressed on the importance of the trans-Atlantic alliance and the respect for international law.
After a talk with French counterpart Yves Le Drian in Paris, she urged the European Union and NATO allies to work together to ease tensions, emphasizing that Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty are non-negotiable, according to Bloomberg.
"Russia would pay a high political and above all economic price for a renewed violation of Ukrainian statehood. We can only find solutions via the path of diplomacy," Baerbock said.
She also assured that Germany is determined to work "to defend the peaceful order in Europe."
Though the Western European Country has adopted a less confrontational stance on Russia in comparison to other nations, its business ties with Moscow, especially the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, could be its leverage in the situation.
Nordic nations ready to impose consequences against Russia.
Nordic Nations Willing to Support Ukraine
On Tuesday, National Security adviser Jake Sullivan and his counterparts from five Nordic nations Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland had a group discussion on strengthening Transatlantic security and their preparedness to impose consequences on Russia if it decides to further its aggression towards Ukraine. But the five Nordic nations emphaiszed the imporance of de-escalating the situation through diplomacy which also involves Strategic Stability Dialogue, NATO-Russia Council, and the OSCE.
"Mr. Sullivan commended the Nordic countries' commitment to the values and principles that underpin European security. Participants reaffirmed the right of each country to choose its alliances. Countries participating in today's call were Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden," a White House statement reads.