US ‘will respond’ if Russia ‘acts recklessly’ – POLITICO

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The United States “will respond” if Russia “acts recklessly or aggressively”, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday on the BBC Radio 4’s Today Program.

Among reckless acts, Blinken mentioned “the SolarWinds cyber intrusion,” “interference in our elections” and “what it’s done to Mr. Navalny.” The U.S. “would prefer a more stable and predictable relationship” if Russia’s actions allow it, he added.

The diplomat also reiterated Biden’s personal opposition to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project between Russia and Germany. Despite the U.S. Justice Department initially deciding to allow sanctions against the company building the gas pipeline as part of new penalties against Russia, the approval was reversed in April. However, the U.S. President still thinks Nord Stream 2 is “a bad idea”.

Speaking about Northern Ireland, Blinken said that peace “is something [the U.S.] is very focused on.” Most important for Biden is that “the gains of the Good Friday Agreement are sustained and we have the political and economic well-being of Northern Ireland in mind.”

On China, Blinken said the U.S. is not trying to contain the country, but also warned that “whenever anyone tries to undermine [the rules-based international system] by not playing by the rules; by not making good on commitments it’s made then we will stand up and say ‘no, we don’t accept that.’” This echoes the joint communique issued by the G7 conference Blinken was participating in on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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