Speed Reads

'we're prepared either way'

Blinken unable to say if Russian threat is 'higher or lower,' but 'it's there' and 'it's real'

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Good Morning America on Wednesday to discuss a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine, which U.S. officials have posited could happen as soon as Feb. 16.

On Tuesday, Moscow said it was pulling some troops back from the border in a sign of potental de-escalation, though NATO officials as well as Ukraine were skeptical of the claims. Even President Biden warned that an invasion "is still very much a possibility."

On Wednesday, Blinken told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that despite Russia's partial withdrawal reports, the threat at the border nonetheless "remains deeply, deeply concerning."

And when asked by Stephanopoulos whether the threat today — i.e. the day of a predicted invasion — is greater than that of yesterday, Blinken was unable to say, but noted danger is still there and "it's real."

"From day to day, George, you can't say it's higher or lower ... it's there. It's real. We haven't seen a pullback, we'd like to see one, if we see one we would welcome it," Blinken responded.

"We're prepared for diplomacy, we're prepared for aggression, we're prepared either way." 

Watch the full interview with Blinken at ABC News.