Vice President Kamala Harris warned there would be “severe consequences” for Russia if the nation continues its “aggressive action” related to the Ukraine crisis, CNN reported.
“We remain, of course, open to and desire diplomacy as it relates to the dialogue and the discussions we’ve had with Russia,” Harris said during her first bilateral meeting at the Munich Security Conference on Friday, CNN reported.
“But we are also committed — if Russia takes aggressive action — to ensuring there will be severe consequence, in terms of the economic sanctions we have discussed,” Harris said, CNN reported.
Moscow has amassed tens of thousands of troops at the Ukrainian border, and President Joe Biden said Thursday that he believes Russia will invade Ukraine within “several days.” The Kremlin has denied having any plans to invade its neighbor and said some of its troops would return to base after completing military drills, but Western intelligence reportedly indicates Russia has only increased its troop presence.
“I am here to ensure that through our discussions and the discussions I will have with other of our allies, that we continue as these hours and days progress to stay in close contact,” Harris said, CNN reported.
“We understand this is a dynamic moment in time. So the work we are doing on a daily basis — and sometimes on an hourly basis to strengthen the relationship — to check in, in terms of our strategic imperative, is critically important and it’s one of the reasons I’m here,” the vice president said.
Harris previously traveled to Mexico and Guatemala in 2021 to discuss the “root causes” of illegal immigration, and she took a trip to France in November 2021 amid high tensions with the U.S. over a submarine deal it negotiated with Australia and the U.K.