(Bloomberg) -- Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte raised the option of providing Ukraine with defensive weapons and said any European Union sanctions in response to a Russian invasion would be severe.

“We have political space to pursue stringent sanctions and the possibility, if those requests would come, to help defensively with weapons,” Rutte said at a press conference on Friday. “The retaliation, with sanctions and everything else we can come up with, will be big.” 

Several rounds of diplomacy have failed to ease the crisis. At a meeting in Geneva on Friday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed to provide written responses to Russian demands and meet again, but no breakthrough was reached.

Rutte said he’ll visit Kyiv with Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra in early February. 

The Biden administration has stepped up warnings about a potential invasion by 100,000 Russian troops near Ukraine’s borders amid negotiations between the U.S., Russia and Europe continue. Lavrov repeated that Russia has no plans to attack. 

Story Link: Dutch Premier Says There Is ‘Political Space’ to Arm Ukraine

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