U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a stop Wednesday in Ukraine to try to prevent a Russian invasion. Both sides, though, are digging in their heels, raising concerns about a new war in Europe.
Blinken says the U.S. hopes diplomacy can still win out, but he maintains that if Russia chooses to renew aggressive action against Ukraine, it will encounter very serious consequences.
"And as we've noted, this will have financial components, economic components, export control components, etc.," Blinken said during a joint news conference with the Ukrainian foreign minister.
He met with his Ukrainian counterpart, hoping to reassure Ukraine that the U.S. will back the country in the face of Russian "aggression."
"As we meet today, Russia has ratcheted up its threats and amassed nearly 100,000 forces on Ukraine's border, which it could double on relatively short order," Blinken stated.
Russia has pushed aside calls to withdraw its troops by claiming it has a right to place its forces wherever it wants in its own territory.
During the news conference, the Ukrainian foreign minister said the "conflict has only one solution, and it's a diplomatic solution."
Meanwhile, here at home, GOP senators weighed in on the crisis.
"We want the diplomatic activity to continue, and as a body, we support a diplomatic response and a final outcome without bloodshed," said Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD).
President Joe Biden answered questions at his press conference Wednesday about the crisis.
"It is going to be a disaster for Russia if they further invade Ukraine, and that our allies and partners are ready to impose severe costs and significant harm on Russia and the Russian economy," Biden said.
The Biden administration has said it was giving an additional $200 million dollars in defensive military aid to Ukraine. Blinken says more is on the way, and that total will increase if Russia invades.