Will of Ukrainians should count
Blinken is skeptical about Crimean liberation
4/7/2023 12:26 am
The US Secretary of State again pledged full support to Ukraine, including in the event of a counter-offensive. However, when it comes to the goal of liberating Crimea, which was annexed by Russia, President Zelenskyy must listen to the Ukrainian population.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has expressed reservations about the Ukrainian government’s announcements that it would liberate all Russian-held territories, including Crimea. “These decisions must be made by Ukraine. Ukraine is a democracy. President Volodymyr Zelenskyj has the responsibility to lead the country. But he must also be open to the will of the Ukrainians,” Blinken told the newspapers of the Funke media group and the French newspaper Ouest-France.
The United States has committed with many other countries to assist Ukraine in defending its territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence. “It remains to be seen how this will develop in the coming weeks and months,” said Blinken.
Blinken recently expressed doubts about the full liberation of the Russian-held areas of Ukraine. “I think there are areas in Ukraine that Ukrainians are determined to fight for on the ground. And maybe there are areas that they decide they want to try to regain by other means,” he said before a parliamentary committee in Washington.
Two goals for Ukraine’s partner
There are two goals for Ukraine’s partners, said Blinken in an interview. “One is to do everything in our power to help Ukraine continue to win back territories.” That includes a counter-offensive that will likely start in the coming weeks. “Secondly, Ukraine should be supported in building up its medium- and long-term capacities.”
The aim is to deter aggression and to defend oneself if an act of violence nevertheless takes place. “Until Russia changes course, we will ensure that the unprecedented pressure from sanctions and export controls remains in place,” Blinken said.