The United States, NATO allies and Russia are all “committed to dialogue” ahead of Wednesday’s high-stakes meeting to discuss Russia’s military buildup along the Ukrainian border, US Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith said Tuesday.
“I think right now, folks feel that both the allies and the Russians, including the United States, all are committed to dialogue at this juncture,” she told CNN’s Alex Marquardt in an exclusive interview from NATO headquarters in Brussels.
“All of the allies are committed to engaging in a dialogue with Russia tomorrow. But simultaneously, the allies are all united in messaging to the Russians that should they decide to further invade Ukraine, they would face massive consequences from NATO and also from the EU as well,” she said.
Wednesday’s meeting is the second of three key engagements with Russia meant to defuse the growing threat posed by Russia to neighboring Ukraine as Moscow amasses thousands of troops along the border. On Monday, the representatives and Russia sat down in Geneva for more than seven hours of discussions.
In the wake of Monday’s talks, Russia has continued to demand guarantees that Ukraine never be allowed to join NATO.
Smith told CNN that “frankly, I don’t see a lot of compromise” on the issue of NATO’s approach to enlargement.
“At this point, let me be