WASHINGTON–If Russia invades Ukraine, it will have an effect not only on countries in Europe, but on markets all over the world. The United States has been negotiating with natural gas producers to make sure that Europe has other options in case the supply from Russia is cut off.
“What we see on the ground is still this incredibly large amassing or Russian troops,” said Robin Dunnigan, deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Dept. of State. “Pres. Putin has given himself and Russia every possible option to further invade Ukraine.
LISTEN: Interview with Dep. Asst. Sec. Dunnigan on Russia-Ukraine situation
You’ve heard Indiana Congressman Andre Carson says he believes a diplomatic solution to the Ukrainian situation is possible. Dunnigan said she hopes so.
“I’ve been a diplomat for 30 years. I believe in diplomacy. I believe that the United States and our partners and allies in Europe have put real, meaningful options there for Russia,” she said.
Dunnigan said the key to a diplomatic solution is to find common ground and address Russia’s security concerns while at the same time preserving our alliance with Ukraine.
You may have heard Indiana Congresswoman Victoria Spartz say she’s concerned about mixed messages from the president and Congress. Dunnigan said she believes the message to Russia is clear.
“We have been 100 percent clear that we are absolutely prepared to implement crippling, severe economic sanctions on Russia if it decides to further invade Ukraine,” she said.
But, she said that the price of natural gas shouldn’t immediately shoot up in Europe or the U.S., even though Russia is a chief natural gas supplier for the continent. Dunnigan said that the U.S. is making sure there are options for European nations to be able to get the gas they need.
“Oil is a global market. But, there are options we have as well, on oil production, working with other oil suppliers.”
Dunnigan said she believes that even though there is risk to Europe, they stand with the U.S. in willingness to enact sanctions on Russia.