Fact Sheet: U.S. Diplomatic Engagement with European Allies and Partners Ahead of Talks with Russia
“We are absolutely committed to the principle nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine, just as we are fully committed to the principle nothing about Europe without Europe.”
Secretary of State Tony Blinken, January 7, 2022
The United States, along with its Allies and partners, has underscored its readiness to impose significant costs on Russia if it takes further military action against Ukraine. At the same time, we have stressed our preference for de-escalation through diplomacy. The United States laid out clear principles ahead of talks with Russia. First, we will not commit to anything about Europe without Europe. Second, any discussions must be reciprocal. Third, genuine progress can only take place in a climate of de-escalation.
The United States has approached this week’s diplomatic engagements with Russia – in the bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue, the NATO-Russia Council, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) – closely aligned with our European Allies and partners, including Ukraine, after extensive consultations. In recent weeks, President Biden has spoken to leaders across Europe. Officials across the U.S. government – including at the National Security Council, State Department, Defense Department, Treasury Department, Energy Department, and U.S. Agency for International Development – have engaged frequently with their European counterparts.
Highlights of the Biden Administration’s close coordination with Allies and partners in recent weeks include:
- President Biden has spoken with 16 European leaders to discuss European security issues and to develop a coordinated and comprehensive transatlantic approach.
- Secretary Blinken has held more than two dozen calls and meetings with foreign leaders and foreign ministers to discuss our coordinated response to Russia’s military buildup along Ukraine’s border. In addition, he has participated in ministerial meetings at the G7, NATO, and the OSCE as well as engaged with the EU and Ukrainian leadership.
- Secretary Austin has spoken with eight of his European counterparts about security issues in Europe and Russia’s destabilizing actions in the region. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Milley has similarly engaged military leaders across Europe.
- National Security Advisor Sullivan has coordinated extensively with his European counterparts, having made dozens of calls to bilateral counterparts across Europe from the EU and Turkey to Finland and Romania. He has also convened calls in multilateral formats, including with the Nordic countries, eastern flank Allies, and France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and the UK. He has also been in regular contact with his Ukrainian counterpart.
- The Biden Administration is in constant contact with Ukrainian officials. In the last few weeks, President Biden has spoken twice to President Zelenskyy. Secretary Blinken has spoken twice with President Zelenskyy and twice with Foreign Minister Kuleba. National Security Advisor Sullivan has spoken seven times with Head of Presidential Administration Yermak. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Milley has spoken four times with Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Zaluzhny. In addition, senior officials at the State Department and Defense Department engage regularly with their Ukrainian counterparts.
- The Biden Administration has sought close consultations with NATO’s eastern flank Allies given their security concerns, including calls both bilaterally and in the Bucharest Nine (B9) format by President Biden, Secretary Blinken, National Security Advisor Sullivan, and other Administration officials.
- The Biden Administration continues to work closely with the European Union. President Biden hosted EU Commission President von der Leyen. Secretary Blinken spoke with European Council President Michel and High Representative Borrell. Senior officials in the State Department and National Security Council have held numerous calls and meetings with their EU counterparts, including in Brussels. The Administration welcomed the December 2021 European Council Conclusions that expressed the EU’s readiness to impose severe economic consequences if Russia further invades Ukraine. Officials from the Treasury Department, State Department, and National Security Council continue to engage with EU counterparts to coordinate our sanctions response.
- In addition to extensive consultations at NATO, the Biden Administration has engaged with NATO partners – including Georgia, also a victim of Russian aggression, as well as Sweden and Finland – to discuss their views on European security.
- Senior Administration officials remain in regular contact with their counterparts. In addition to the interactions listed below, scores of calls have also been made by Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer, Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried, and other officials across the U.S. government. Our recently confirmed ambassadors to NATO and the OSCE, Julianne Smith and Michael Carpenter, have also worked closely with their counterparts.
OVERVIEW OF DIPLOMATIC ENGAGEMENTS
Below is an illustrative list of consultations undertaken by the Biden Administration in advance of talks with Russia. This list is not exhaustive or comprehensive, as there have been extensive calls and meetings at all levels of governments and across numerous agencies, but it demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to remain in lockstep with Allies and partners.
Engagements with Ukraine
Engagements with NATO
Engagements with the European Union
Engagements with the OSCE
Engagements with Bucharest Nine (B9) and NATO Eastern Flank Allies
Engagements with Transatlantic Allies and partners
- November 9-13: Vice President Harris traveled to France to meet with President Macron; she also engaged with other European leaders, including European Council President Michel, German Chancellor Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Draghi, Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis, and Spanish President Sanchez
- November 29: Secretary Blinken’s call with Austrian Foreign Minister Linhart
- November 30: Secretary Blinken’s meeting with Transatlantic Quad Foreign Ministers
- December 1: Secretary Blinken’s meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu
- December 6: President Biden’s call with President Macron of France, then-Chancellor Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Draghi of Italy, Prime Minister Johnson of the United Kingdom
- December 6: Secretary Blinken’s call with Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis
- December 7: President Biden’s Call with President Macron of France, then-Chancellor Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Draghi of Italy, Prime Minister Johnson of the United Kingdom
- December 7: Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Finer call with Ambassadors of European Allies and Partners following President Biden’s call with President Putin
- December 8: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Milley’s call with French Chief of the Defense Staff Gen. Burkhard
- December 9: Secretary Blinken’s meeting with Norwegian Foreign Minister Huitfeldt
- December 10: President Biden’s Call with Chancellor Scholz of Germany
- December 11: Secretary Blinken’s meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Di Maio
- December 11: Secretary Blinken’s meeting with German Foreign Minister Baerbock
- December 11: Secretary Blinken’s meeting with UK Foreign Secretary Truss
- December 13: Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Finer, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Adeyemo, and Deputy Secretary of State Sherman virtual meeting with Quint counterparts
- December 14: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Milley’s call with UK Chief of the Defense Staff Adm. Sir Radakin
- December 15: Secretary of Defense Austin’s Bilateral meeting with Canadian Minister of National Defense Anand
- December 17: Secretary of Defense Austin’s call with German Federal Minister of Defense Lambrecht
- December 20: Secretary Blinken’s meeting with Slovenian Foreign Minister Logar
- December 22: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Milley’s call with French Chief of the Defense Staff Gen. Burkhard
- December 23: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Milley’s call with UK Chief of the Defense Staff Adm. Sir Radakin
- December 23: Secretary Blinken’s call with UK Foreign Secretary Truss
- December 29: Secretary Blinken’s call with French, German, and UK Foreign Ministers
- December 30: Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Finer call with Ambassadors of European Allies and Partners following President Biden’s call with President Putin
- December 31: Secretary Blinken’s call with Italian Foreign Minister Di Maio
- December 31: Secretary Blinken’s call with Canadian Foreign Minister Joly
- January 3: Secretary Blinken’s call with Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu
- January 4: Deputy Secretary Sherman’s call with Greek Foreign Minister Dendias
- January 5: Secretary Blinken’s meeting with German Foreign Minister Baerbock
- January 5: Secretary of Defense Austin’s call with UK Secretary of State for Defense Wallace
- January 5: Deputy Secretary Sherman’s call with Spanish State Secretary for Foreign and Global Affairs Bau
- January 6: Deputy Secretary Sherman’s call with French, German, Italian, and UK Counterparts
- January 7: Under Secretary of State Nuland’s call with Dutch Director General for Political Affairs van der Plas
Engagement with NATO partners (Georgia, Finland, Sweden)
Upcoming Consultations with Transatlantic Allies and Partners
- January 10: USNATO Ambassador Smith will participate with Allies and Ukraine in NATO-Ukraine Commission
- January 11: Deputy Secretary Sherman will meet with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg
- January 11: Deputy Secretary Sherman will brief NATO Allies at a North Atlantic Council meeting about Strategic Stability Dialogue in Geneva
- January 11: Deputy Secretary Sherman will brief EU member states’ ambassadors at the Council of the EU’s Political and Security Committee
- January 11: Deputy Secretary Sherman will meet with Head of Cabinet of the President of the European Commission Seibert and European External Action Service Secretary General Sannino
- January 12: Deputy Secretary Sherman will lead the U.S. Delegation to the NATO-Russia Council
- January 13: USOSCE Ambassador Carpenter will participate in OSCE Permanent Council meeting on Russia-Ukraine