Washington will ‘strengthen’ Ukraine until kyiv gets ‘fair’ terms at the negotiating table, Secretary of State Antony Blinken says
As Russia mobilizes hundreds of thousands of troops, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a United Nations meeting on Thursday that Washington would bolster kyiv’s forces until it can end the conflict. with Russia on favorable terms.
Addressing the UN Security Council, Blinken said the United States “will continue to support Ukraine in its defense and strengthen its hand to reach a diplomatic solution under fair conditions at a negotiating table.”
“Diplomacy is the only way to end this war,” Blinken continued. “But diplomacy cannot and should not be used as a cudgel to impose a settlement on Ukraine that violates the UN Charter or rewards Russia for its violation.”
Blinken’s statement echoes his oft-repeated line that the United States must help kyiv win military victories so that it can dictate its terms in any eventual settlement with Moscow. To that end, the United States has flooded Ukraine with increasingly sophisticated weaponry and showered economic and humanitarian aid on kyiv, at a cost to the American taxpayer of around $54 billion since February.
However, the only successful Ukrainian offensive in the conflict to date took place earlier this month in an area held by a much lighter contingent of Russian and allied troops, and kyiv’s forces are likely to face much greater challenges. more difficult in the coming months, after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the mobilization of 300,000 reservists on Wednesday.
The promise of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to seize the Russian territory of Crimea, as well as the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, further complicates matters. The two Donbas republics will vote this week on joining the Russian Federation, with similar referendums being held in the Russian-held regions of Zaporozhye and Kherson. Crimea voted in 2014 to join Russia.
While most Western leaders have said they expect the conflict to end in a negotiated peace, no NATO or EU head of state has called on Zelensky to compromise on his plans for seize Donbass and Crimea. Few analysts or pundits in the West have questioned the publicly stated goals of the Ukrainian leader, those who, like former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, were denounced at home and declared enemies of Ukraine by kyiv.