Blinken vows “relentless” diplomacy to avoid Russia’s attack on Ukraine

Kiev — US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that Russia could launch a new attack on Ukraine with a very short notice, but Washington would pursue diplomacy as much as possible.

When visiting Kiev to show support for Ukraine, Blinken said Ukrainians need to prepare for difficult days. He said Washington would continue to provide defense assistance to Kiev and renewed its promise of strict sanctions against Russia in the event of a new aggression.

The Kremlin said tensions around Ukraine were rising and were still awaiting a written response from the United States to a wide range of security demands from the West.

A pessimistic statement highlighted the gap between Washington and Moscow as Blinken was preparing for a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergeĭ Viklov on Friday.

Blinken promised “a relentless diplomatic effort to prevent new aggression and promote dialogue and peace.” He said tens of thousands of Russian troops were being strengthened “for no provocation or reason” near the Ukrainian border.

“We know that there are plans to further strengthen that power with very short notices, which will also give President Putin the ability to take more positive action against Ukraine with very short notices.” He said.

He didn’t elaborate on how fast Russia might move. Independent security analysts say Moscow has so far gathered logistics and medical forces and does not believe it is necessary to launch an immediate attack.

Russia has also given the option to move troops to Belarus for what is called a joint military exercise and attack neighboring Ukraine from the north, east and south.

It continues to deny such intentions. Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, said the delivery of western weapons to Ukraine, military operations, and NATO’s flight of aircraft were due to heightened tensions around Ukraine.

Ukrainian army
Snipers will participate in a military exercise on January 17, 2022 at the Ukrainian army’s firing ground in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. (Anna Kudriavtseva / Reuters)

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has accused Russia of trying to spread panic in Ukraine. He said it is an “indestructible principle” that diplomacy provides the only way and decisions about Ukraine cannot be achieved without its involvement.

“The basic principle is simple. Strong Ukraine is the best way to curb Russia,” he said.

“Hope is dim”

The U.S. could be ready for a new aggression eight years after Russia threatened its post-Soviet neighbors, occupied the Crimean Peninsula and supported separatist forces that ruled much of eastern Ukraine. It states that it has sex.

Russia says it feels threatened by growing relations with Western countries in Kiev. We would like to impose a “red line” to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and to withdraw troops and weapons from Eastern Europe. Washington states that these demands are “not a beginner.”

Former Russian diplomat Vladimir Florov, a current foreign policy analyst, said Moscow was not softened by an offer to negotiate arms control between the United States and NATO and pursued a far more drastic restructuring of the European security order. He said he was doing it.

“The encounter between Viklov and Blinken is probably the last stop before the train wrecked, but hopes are dim and the positions are incompatible,” he said.

Described Russia’s military deployment in Belarus as a “huge escalation,” Florov made a disastrous assessment of the crisis.

“Apart from the surrender of the United States and their handing over Ukraine to Russia, I think some military options are now almost inevitable.”

Blinken said he would not reply to Viklov in writing in Geneva on Friday. This is what Russia has repeatedly demanded.

He said both sides needed to consider a series of diplomatic meetings on the crisis last week.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Blinken in Kiev:

President Joe Biden’s administration last month approved the provision of an additional $ 200 million in defense and security assistance to Ukraine, and since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, it has provided more support than at any time last year. Provided.

On Monday, Britain said it had begun supplying Ukraine with anti-tank weapons to help protect itself.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called on Wednesday to stop supplying weapons to the West, calling the situation surrounding Europe’s security “critical,” the Interfax news agency reported.

Simon Lewis