U.S., Germany: Russia’s military buildup near Ukraine’s border poses “immediate and urgent challenge”

“Both Germany and the United States see Russia’s actions toward Ukraine as an immediate and urgent challenge to peace and stability in Europe,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock sought to present a unified front on Russia after a meeting in Washington.

United States and Germany said Wednesday that Russia’s military buildup near Ukraine’s border poses an “immediate and urgent challenge” to European security and that any intervention will draw severe consequences.

What those consequences are has not been disclosed.

“The real question is whether Russia is serious about diplomacy, serious about de-escalation,” Blinken said. “Let’s see where this goes over the next weeks.”

As the Biden administration moves to build international consensus around a set of possible punitive measures, Germany is clearly the linchpin. Securing the support of Europe’s biggest economy will be key to both messaging and implementation of whatever is decided.