US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken heads Thursday to Berlin for meetings with key European allies, as part of a whirlwind diplomatic tour to stop Russia from marching on Ukraine, AFP reports.
Blinken seeks united front with European allies over Russia
STEPANAKERT, JANUARY 20, ARTSAKHPRESS: He had begun his tour on Wednesday with a first stop in Kyiv as a show of support, as he urged Vladimir Putin to stay on a "diplomatic and peaceful path".
In Washington, President Joe Biden said Russia would pay a stiff price for invading Ukraine, including a heavy human toll and deep harm to its economy.
"It is going to be a disaster for Russia," Biden said, adding that Moscow might ultimately prevail, but its losses are "going to be heavy".
Biden insisted that Putin "still does not want any full-blown war", but said the standoff could "easily get out of hand".
And the US leader said he was open to a summit with Putin about the situation.
It is noted that with tens of thousands of Russian troops massed on the Ukrainian border, fears are mounting that a major conflict could break out in Europe.
Biden sparked controversy Wednesday when he suggested that "something significantly short of a significant invasion" would be met with a lesser pushback from NATO.
"It's one thing if it's a minor incursion, and then we end up having a fight about what to do and not do, etcetera," he said.
But the White House moved swiftly to clarify the comments, with Press Secretary Jen Psaki vowing any Russian movement in Ukraine would face "severe" retaliation.