Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield’s Interview with Lester Holt of NBC Nightly News

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
February 17, 2022


QUESTION: I’m joined now by the United States Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Madam Ambassador, we appreciate you being here. For days we’ve been hearing an attack is imminent. What do you make of the fact that it hasn’t happened yet? Do you think Vladimir Putin is committed to the idea of attacking?

AMBASSADOR LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Everything that we have seen on the ground, Lester, indicates that he is committed to an attack. He has 150,000 troops on the border with Ukraine. He has troops in Belarus on the border with Ukraine. And all of their statements indicate that they have no intention of not invading Ukraine, despite sometimes saying that they pull back troops or they may not invade. But everything they are doing shows that they are prepared for an attack and that attack could happen any day.

QUESTION: The U.S. has been leading the call for a diplomatic resolution to all this, but it is unwilling to limit NATO expansion. Is there in fact still room for discussion? Is there anything new to put on the table?

AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: You know, absolutely. The first thing we have to do is get to the table. Secretary Blinken sent Foreign Minister Lavrov a letter today inviting him to Geneva to sit down at the negotiating table and hammer out a way forward that will allow us to address the security issues that Russia has and the security issues that others have. But we’ve also made clear that we will not discuss Ukraine without Ukraine, or Europe without Europe, being at the table. So, the possibilities of a diplomatic solution are there. We just have – the Russians just have to accept that possibility and choose diplomacy over confrontation.

QUESTION: Alright. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, again, we thank you for joining us tonight.