US pledges more support for Ukraine
As Russia mobilizes hundreds of thousands of troops, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a United Nations meeting on Thursday that Washington will bolster Kiev’s forces until it can end the conflict with Russia on favorable terms.
Addressing the UN Security Council, Blinken declared that the US “will continue to support Ukraine as it defends itself, and strengthen its hand to achieve a diplomatic solution on just terms at a negotiating table.”
“Diplomacy is the only way to end this war,” Blinken continued. “But diplomacy cannot and must not be used as a cudgel to impose on Ukraine a settlement that cuts against the UN Charter, or rewards Russia for violating it.”
Blinken’s declaration echoes his often-repeated line that the US must help Kiev achieve military victories so it can dictate its terms during an eventual settlement with Moscow. To that end, the US has flooded Ukraine with progressively more advanced weaponry and lavished Kiev with economic and humanitarian aid, at a cost to the US taxpayer of around $54 billion since February.
However, Ukraine’s only successful offensive of the conflict so far came earlier this month in a region held by a significantly lighter contingent of Russian and allied troops, and Kiev’s forces likely face far tougher challenges in the coming months, after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the mobilization of 300,000 reservists on Wednesday.
Further complicating matters is Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s pledge to capture the Russian territory of Crimea, as well as the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. The two Donbass republics will vote this week on joining the Russian Federation, with similar referendums being held in the Russian-controlled regions of Zaporozhye and Kherson. Crimea voted in 2014 to rejoin Russia.
While most Western leaders have stated that they foresee the conflict ending in a negotiated peace, no NATO or EU heads of state have called on Zelensky to compromise on his plans to seize Donbass and Crimea. Few analysts or pundits in the West have questioned the Ukrainian leader’s publicly stated objectives, with those who have, such as former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, denounced at home and declared enemies of Ukraine by Kiev.