Ukraine conflict: Blinken warns of Russian troop surge

Status: 01/19/2022 12:31 p.m

In the Ukraine conflict, US Secretary of State Blinken warned against a short-term increase in Russian troops. Corresponding plans by Moscow are available to the USA. Moscow will decide whether it will remain peaceful.

During his visit to Kiev, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned of a “very short-term” increase in Russian troops on the border with Ukraine. Washington is aware of corresponding plans in Moscow, said Blinken. “This gives President Putin the opportunity to take further aggressive measures against Ukraine at very short notice.” He called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to seek a peaceful solution.

“We’ll see where we are at the end of the week. I really hope that we can maintain a diplomatic and peaceful path. But ultimately that will be President Putin’s decision,” said Blinken.

US increases aid to Ukraine

Meanwhile, a senior US official confirmed Washington is providing an additional $200 million in security aid to Ukraine. It is a support “in the field of defensive security”.

Before the Russian troop movements on the Ukrainian border, the US government had already pledged military aid of 450 million dollars (around 396 million euros) for the country.

Blinken also has an appointment with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the Ukrainian capital. According to his ministry, the US chief diplomat wants to “reaffirm US support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

Blinken meets with Baerbock

Blinken will travel from Kiev to Berlin on Thursday, where he will meet Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and the foreign ministers of France and Great Britain. He plans to speak to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey 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.

Russia is demanding comprehensive security guarantees from the West in the conflict, such as a refrain from further eastward expansion of NATO and from US military bases in countries in the former Soviet sphere of influence. The Western partners reject this.

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