WH says 'nothing to preview' on Ukraine idea of trilateral summit
The United States accuses Russia of fabricating a pretext for an invasion of Ukraine while rejecting to comment on Kyiv's idea for trilateral talks.
The Biden administration has nothing to preview on Ukraine's idea of a trilateral summit involving Kyiv, Moscow, and Washington, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Friday.
"I have nothing to preview in terms of the next steps on negotiations or talks," Psaki told reporters when asked to comment on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's proposal to hold the trilateral summit.
According to Psaki, members of delegations returned to their capitals from security talks in Europe, adding that they were now discussing the future of their efforts.
Psaki reiterated Washington's words asking Moscow to "choose a way forward."
"We are ready regardless of what they decide. If they decide they are going to invade Ukraine, there are going to be economic consequences that go far beyond 2014," she said.
The EU had introduced sanctions against Russia on July 31, 2014, accusing Moscow of "destabilizing the situation in Ukraine." They limit access to EU primary and secondary capital markets for certain Russian banks and companies.
"If they decide they want to engage in diplomatic conversation and talks, we are very open to that, and are hoping they will do that," Psaki said.
WH: Russia planning to fabricate a pretext to invade Ukraine
Psaki later claimed that the United States had information that Russia was planning on fabricating a pretext for an invasion of Ukraine through using operatives to carry out a "false flag event."
"As part of its plans, Russia’s laying the groundwork to have the option of fabricating a pretext for invasion," Psaki told a press briefing.
"We have information that indicates Russia has already pre-positioned a group of operatives to conduct a false flag operation in eastern Ukraine," she alleged, adding that the operatives were trained to sabotage against "Russia's own proxy forces," referring to the self-proclaimed Donbass republic army.
Psaki went as far as accusing Russia of planning activities and operations "similar to those seen in 2014" referring to the Russian reclamation of Crimea.
The spokesperson also claimed that information indicates that Russian influence actors were starting to "fabricate Ukrainian provocations" in state and social media to justify a Russian intervention."
Russia is facing US-European allegations of a military buildup on its shared borders with Ukraine, which they claim amounts to 100,000 Russian troops.
President Vladimir Putin had said in December Moscow pursued a peaceful foreign policy; however, it had the right to defend its security.