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January 26, 2022
The U.S. Says It Will Stand Firm Against Major Russian Demands as Tension Rises
Journalist Becky Sullivan
As concern rises that Russia is preparing to attack Ukraine, the United States is not bending to major demands by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday.
Blinken made the remarks as he announced the U.S. had presented its formal, written response to a list of demands from Putin last month regarding European security. Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops in Russia and Belarus along the border with Ukraine, sparking fears of an imminent invasion.
U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan delivered the U.S. document to the Russian Foreign Ministry earlier Wednesday. It was also shared with Congress.
Putin has long insisted that Russians and Ukrainians are "one people." In a detailed history published last July, Putin argued that the countries are two "parts of what is essentially the same historical and spiritual space."
"For him, I think it's really personal. Putin, over his 22 years now in power, has tried and failed repeatedly to bring Ukraine back into the fold. And I think he senses that now is his time to take care of this unfinished business," said Andrea Kendall-Taylor, a former senior intelligence officer now with the Center for a New American Security.
Read the full story and more from NPR.