• Jens Stoltenberg: Moscow is preparing new military operations
• Secretary Blinken: Putin has no genuine interest in diplomacy right now.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is in Washington, DC. At a Wednesday’s press conference with Secretary Blinken at the State Department, military support for Ukraine was front and center.
Aware that Russia’s military operation in Ukraine is not going to decrease anytime soon, Secretary Blinken revealed the US assessment of the situation on the battlefield.
Blinken said President Putin “has no genuine interest in diplomacy right now.” Biden’s top diplomat referred to the statement Putin made a few weeks ago. “Unless and until Ukraine accepts the new territorial realities there is nothing to even talk about,” said Putin.
“The best way to hasten prospects for real diplomacy” said Blinken “is to keep tilting the battlefield in Ukraine’s favor.” The US wants to ensure that Ukraine “has the strongest possible hand to play at a negotiating table when one emerges.”
Jens Stoltenberg stated that it was Putin who started the war and could stop it today “by withdrawing the troops.”
NATO’s Secretary General shared Blinken’s view that there is “no sign” that Russia is looking to sit at a negotiation table. He revealed that Moscow is preparing new military operations.
Jens Stoltenberg announced that NATO intends to continue to supply Ukraine with weapons it needs to “retake territory.” He noted that Putin’s victory would be “a tragedy” for Ukraine. “That would be a message to other bad actors that the use of force can produce desired results.”
In a broader geopolitical context, NATO and the US are aware that China is closely watching how the situation will develop in Ukraine as a guide for their potential action in Taiwan.
“Beijing is watching closely and learning lessons that may influence its future decisions,” said Stoltenberg. “So what happens in Europe today could happen in Asia tomorrow,” NATO Secretary General issued a stark geopolitical warning.
Blinken did not say “no” to providing Ukraine with fighter jets
Today in London, Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy repeated his call for the UK to send modern fighter jets to Ukraine. Sunak said he wants to see Ukraine on the battlefield “victorious” this year, signaling that the war’s end is nowhere near.
In Washington DC, asked about the US stance on fighter jets, Secretary Blinken did not say “no” to the possibility of providing Ukraine with equipment Zelenskyy requested, something Biden so far ruled out to do.
“It’s a long way of saying this is an evolving process and we will continue to make judgments about what we think Ukraine needs and what it can be most effective in using,” said Blinken. The rationale Blinken offered was that in addition to particular weapons, “equally important” is the ability of the Ukrainian troops to navigate the equipment, which in some cases requires “significant training.”
Two weeks ago, President Biden announced that the United States would send Abrams tanks to Ukraine.
The US and NATO are assessing Ukraine’s “changing needs” on the battlefield and will respond with a coherent strategy, according to Blinken.