US, Germany say Russia poses urgent challenge to stability

WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States and Germany say 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. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock presented a unified front on Russia after a meeting on Wednesday in Washington.

The severity of any response to a Russian invasion of Ukraine hinges largely on Germany, Europe’s biggest economy and a diplomatic heavyweight within the 27-nation European Union.

Wednesday’s meeting precedes a flurry of meetings next week involving NATO foreign ministers, senior U.S. and Russian officials, the NATO-Russia Council and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.