Status: 01/19/2022 4:52 p.m
US Secretary of State Blinken has pledged an additional $200 million in defense aid to Ukraine. Russia is showing “relentless” aggression against the country. He threatened Moscow with further sanctions.
During his visit to Kiev, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken once again made serious allegations against Russia. “Moscow has systematically tried to weaken Ukraine’s democratic institutions and divide Ukrainian society,” said Blinken after a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
In view of growing fears of a Russian invasion, Blinken warned that Russia currently has around 100,000 soldiers on the Ukrainian border. That number could double in a relatively short period of time. “We know that there are plans to increase these troops even more in the very short term, and that gives President Putin the opportunity to take further aggressive action against Ukraine, also in the very short term,” Blinken said.
D. von Osten, ARD Moscow, currently. Kiev, for Blinken’s visit to Ukraine
Tagesschau 2:00 p.m., 19.1.2022
Blinken: “Unwavering support” for Ukraine
With his visit to Ukraine, he wanted to express “the unwavering support” of the United States for Ukraine, said the US Secretary of State. Ukraine’s democracy, its fundamental right to exist as a sovereign, independent nation, faces an unprecedented challenge from Russia.
“The Ukrainian people chose a democratic and European path in 1991. You went to the Maidan in 2013 to defend this decision and unfortunately you have been subjected to unrelenting aggression from Moscow since then,” said Blinken. “Our strength depends on maintaining our unity, and that includes unity within Ukraine,” Blinken said.
Addressing Ukraine, he said: “Don’t let Moscow divide you.” In his view, one of Moscow’s long-term goals is “to sow divisions between and within our countries, and we cannot and will not let them do that.”
Blinken: “It’s about more than Ukraine”
Blinken again threatened Russia with “massive consequences” in the event of an attack. “I hope it doesn’t come to that, but if it does, we will crack down in a coordinated manner to impose these consequences on Russia,” Blinken said.
These would be sanctions that would have financial, economic and export control components, Blinken said. “We have provided more security assistance to Ukraine over the past year than at any time since 2014,” the US Secretary of State said. “We continue to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to defend itself.” The aim is also in the future to make it clear to Moscow what costs the USA and Europe would impose on Russia if the country rejected the diplomatic route.
The Ukraine conflict is of great importance for the whole world. “It’s about more than Ukraine,” said Blinken. Russia’s aggression called into question the fundamental principles on which the entire international system is based. These principles are necessary to ensure peace and security. This includes the fact that one nation should not simply use force to change the borders of another. “If we allow these principles to be violated with impunity, we will be opening a very large Pandora’s box and the whole world will be watching what is happening here,” Blinken warned.
Zelenskyy: Need help modernizing the military
The US government earlier said it would provide Ukraine with an additional $200 million in aid to defend the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Zelenskyj thanked Blinken for the support that had been decided at the end of December but was only formally confirmed today. The military support speaks not only for the strategic plans for Ukraine’s entry into NATO, but above all for the level of the Ukrainian military, he said. “If we want dramatically fast steps in modernizing the military, we need help, especially in these difficult times,” said Zelenskyy.
Blinken is traveling to Berlin tomorrow and to Geneva on Friday
Blinken had landed in Kiev for talks in the morning amid the serious tensions in the Ukraine conflict. He then travels to Berlin for talks with German and other European allies. Blinken plans to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Friday.
Because of a massive Russian troop deployment with more than 100,000 soldiers on the border with Ukraine, the West fears that Russia is preparing an invasion of the neighboring country. The government in Moscow denies attack plans.
In the conflict, Russia is demanding comprehensive security guarantees from the West, such as a refusal to further expand NATO eastward and to renounce US military bases in states that were once in the Soviet sphere of influence. The Western partners reject this.
Ukraine Crisis – Of Deterrence and Diplomacy
Christina Nagel, ARD Moscow, 19.1.2022 12:41 p.m