National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Thursday that the US does not believe that Russia has decided to invade Ukraine, but is ready to take whatever route it takes.
“We are prepared any way,” Sullivan told reporters after a week of talks between the United States, its Western allies and Russia.
“We stand ready to make progress at the negotiating table … and we stand ready to take necessary and appropriate steps to protect our allies, support our partners and respond firmly to any naked aggression.” “
Russia has amassed thousands of troops along the border with Ukraine as it sought guarantees that NATO would not expand the alliance eastward.
“The intelligence community has not assessed that the Russians have definitely decided to take military action in Ukraine,” Sullivan said.
“So as things stand now, Russia has an opportunity to come to the table.”
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who led talks in Geneva with US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, in an interview on Thursday did not rule out Moscow sending troops to ally Venezuela or Cuba if diplomacy fails.
“I don’t want to confirm it … nor exclude it,” he said.
Sullivan called the remarks “hoax” and said that Russia did not raise the idea in the discussion.
“If Russia moves in that direction, we will deal with it decisively,” Sullivan said.
The United States and the then Soviet Union are believed to have come closest to nuclear war in 1962, when Moscow deployed ballistic missiles to Cuba, setting off a diplomacy of crisis.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)