Excerpts from Nuland’s opening statement to Senate Foreign Relations Committee

No commentary required. Why Nuland added a second “y” to Alexei Navalny’s last name – after the Ukrainian fashion – is, in the words of Thomas Browne, although a puzzling question not beyond all conjecture.

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland
Opening Statement on “Update on U.S.- Russia Policy”
U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Washington, D.C.
December 7, 2021

Chairman Menendez, Ranking Member Risch, Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss our shared concern about the build-up of Russian forces on Ukraine’s borders and in occupied Crimea.

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Russia has stepped up planning for potential further military action in Ukraine, positioning close to 100 thousand troops around Ukraine’s Eastern, and Northern borders as well as from the South via the Crimean Peninsula. Russia’s plans and positioning of assets also include the
means to destabilize Ukraine from within, and aggressive information operations in an attempt to undermine Ukrainian stability and social cohesion, and to pin blame for any potential escalation on Kyiv and NATO nations.

We don’t know whether Russian President Putin has made a decision to attack Ukraine or overthrow its government but we do know he is building the capacity to do so. Much of this comes right out of Putin’s 2014 playbook but this time, it is on a much larger and more
lethal scale….

First, we are engaging Russia at all levels to urge Moscow to pull back, and settle any concerns with Ukraine or with the Trans-Atlantic community through diplomacy. The President sent CIA Director Burns to Moscow with that message in early November; Secretary Blinken engaged FM Lavrov last Thursday…

We are also warning of severe costs and consequences, including deploying far harsher economic measures than we have used before, if Russia chooses the path of confrontation and military action.

Second, we are engaging intensively with President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian government to strengthen their defenses, support their preparedness….The United States’ commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence is unwavering.

Third, during Secretary Blinken’s meetings at NATO and the OSCE last week and in countless bilateral meetings at all levels, we are working with Allies and partners to send a united message: Russia must deescalate….But if Russia attacks Ukraine, we will be united in imposing severe consequences on Moscow for its actions, including high-impact economic measures we
have refrained from using in the past. At NATO, SACEUR and national military authorities are also preparing advice on necessary steps to improve resilience and harden defenses in Allied territory.

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We will continue to have deep disagreements with the Kremlin on human rights, Mr. Navalnyy’s treatment, press and NGO freedom, Belarus, cyber threats, election interference, detaining American citizens, embassy staffing and many other things….

By Rick Rozoff Via https://antibellum679354512.wordpress.com/2021/12/08/excerpts-from-nulands-opening-statement-to-senate-foreign-relations-committee/