Blinken: Russia’s demands for Ukraine and its territory are unacceptable

January 18,2023 616
Blinken: Russia’s demands for Ukraine and its territory are unacceptable

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the “fastest way to bring this war to a just and durable end, to get to diplomacy, to get to a negotiation, is to give Ukraine a strong hand on the battlefield,” according to the U.S. Department of State.

“That’s exactly what we’re doing,” he added at a joint press availability with U.K. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

Blinken explained that Russia’s demand to accept what they call “the new territorial realities” as a sine qua non for any peace talks is unacceptable.

“There had been a narrative that the Russians were trying to push for many weeks and many months that they’re interested in diplomacy in Ukraine and we are not. That of course is entirely false, but I think you only have to look at Putin’s own words in a recent conversation with President Erdoğan of Türkiye in which he says unless and until Ukraine accepts the new territorial realities, as he put it, there’s nothing to negotiate. In other words, unless and until Ukraine acknowledges and accepts the fact that territory that Russia has seized by force, it’s not getting back, there’s nothing to negotiate. That of course is in and of itself a nonstarter,” Blinken said.

Cleverly said that the main subject of their talks was “Ukraine’s current struggle against aggression in our time,” making a point of the fact that the meeting coincided with the 80th anniversary of the January 1943 Casablanca Conference where U.K. PM Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt planned the liberation of Europe and the victory over aggression. “From the onset of this crisis, Britain and America have worked hand in glove to help our Ukrainian friends defend their homeland against Putin’s aggression,” Cleverly said.

He noted that “almost a year after Russia’s attack against Ukraine, which broke the fundamental principles of international law – and we see them committing acts of barbarism wherever they advance.”

“And whilst three-quarters of the entire membership of the United Nations voted to condemn this invasion, we should remember that never in living memory has Russia been more isolated and the Atlantic Alliance more united. If Putin believed that the world would succumb to Ukraine fatigue and lose the will to resist his ambitions, then that was, once again, another colossal misjudgment on his part,” Cleverly emphasized.

“We remain committed to sustaining our security assistance to Ukraine as it defends its people against Russia’s brutal attacks, like the one we saw just this weekend on an apartment building in Dnipro on Saturday – far from the front lines,” said Blinken.

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