Blinken warns Ukraine facing ‘unprecedented’ threat from Russia
Kiev, Jan 19 (EFE).- United States secretary of state Antony Blinken on Wednesday warned Ukraine was facing an “unprecedented” threat as Russia amassed troops on its border in recent months.
“Today there are some 100,000 Russian soldiers near Ukraine’s borders, and in that sense the threat to Ukraine is unprecedented,” Blinken said in a joint press conference with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a visit to Kiev.
Meanwhile, Zelenskyy thanked Blinken for Washington’s support amid concerns over Russia’s threat.
“This is something I would also like to thank you personally, President Biden (…) for your support, military assistance to Ukraine, for increasing this assistance,” he said.
During Blinken’s visit, the Biden administration announced it was providing $200 million in defensive military aid to Ukraine, according to the Washington Post.
“I’m sure there will be no decision about Ukraine without Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said, referring to the talks he is holding with the US, Nato, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union to try and reduce tensions.
“Now, as ever, it is up to Ukrainians and no one else to decide their own future and the future of this country,” Blinken said.
“Our strength depends on preserving our unity and that includes unity within Ukraine,” he added.
Blinken, who is also meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, stressed that the path of diplomacy is the preferable and responsible way to resolve these differences.
“At the same time, we’ve made it very clear to Moscow that if it chooses to renew aggression against Ukraine, it will mean that it will face very severe consequences – and again, that’s coming not just from the United States but from countries across Europe and beyond,” Blinken warned.
Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said Wednesday that Moscow was not planning to invade Ukraine and that there was no risk of a large-scale war in Europe or anywhere else in the world.EFE