The United States is putting all options at stake because of Russia's growing military presence near Ukraine


 All options are at stake on how to respond to the "large and unusual" build-up of Russian troops around the border with Ukraine, and the NATO alliance will decide what the next step will be after consultations next week, a senior US diplomat on European affairs said last night.

"As you can see, all options are on the table," said Karen Donfried, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, during a telephone briefing.

"It is now up to the alliance to decide what the next moves NATO wants to take," she said.

At the briefing, she announced US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken's visit to Latvia and Sweden next week.

US, NATO and Ukrainian officials have recently warned of "unusual" movements of Russian troops near Ukraine, suggesting that Moscow may be ready to attack its neighbor, accusations the Kremlin has denied.

Asked if Blinken would meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov while in Stockholm, Donfried said there were no announcements, but that a briefing would follow.

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