UN ambassador: US ‘still working to discourage the Russians’ from making ‘wrong choice’

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, on Sunday said the U.S. is “still working to discourage the Russians from making the wrong choice and choosing confrontation,” as concerns rise that Moscow is planning an incursion against Ukraine.

Asked by co-anchor Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union” how likely she thinks a Russian invasion of Ukraine is, Thomas-Greenfield said the U.S. is still pursuing diplomatic channels while also working to address security matters.

“We will continue to work on a diplomatic solution but at the same time, we know that the Russians continue to prepare and we will be working to address the security issues,” she said.

Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border, stoking fear among U.S. officials and other nations that Moscow may be planning an incursion against Ukraine. Russia, however, has denied having such plans.

The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that it was deploying and repositioning more than 3,000 U.S. troops to bolster Eastern European allies amid the rising tensions.

The next day, the Pentagon said officials believe Russia may plan to create a pretext to invade Ukraine by making a propaganda video that depicts aggression toward Russians.

Asked on Sunday how likely an invasion is, Thomas-Greenfield also pointed to the U.N. Security Council meeting last week, in which the U.S. worked to unite the international community in confronting Russia’s buildup on the Ukrainian border by characterizing it as a threat to global peace and security. The effort, however, drew criticism from Russia that the U.S. was fueling alarm.

“This is the reason we held the meeting in the Security Council on Monday last week, to have the Russians hear a unified voice from the vast majority of members in the Security Council that they should pursue a diplomatic solution to their security concerns,” Greenfield-Thomas said on Sunday.

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