‘Step in right direction’: Blinken evokes just & lasting peace as prerequisite for Ukraine ceasefire

05 June 2023
France24, 2 June 2023

by France24/ Photo/video credits: France24/William Hilderbrandt

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday that a cease-fire in the war in Ukraine can not be declared unless it is part of a “just and lasting” peace deal that includes Russia’s military withdrawal. Blinken said that “a cease-fire that simply freezes current lines in place" and allows Russian President Vladimir Putin "to consolidate control over the territory he has seized, and rest, rearm, and reattack — that is not a just and lasting peace.” Russia must also pay a share of Ukraine’s reconstruction and be held accountable for launching its full-scale invasion of its neighbor in February 2022, Blinken said in a speech during a visit to Finland, which recently joined NATO and shares a long border with Russia. Allowing Moscow to keep the one-fifth of Ukraine territory it has occupied would send the wrong message to Russia and to “other would-be aggressors around the world,” according to Blinken. Russia, however, wants any talks to address Ukraine’s request to join NATO. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has pushed for the country's membership in the Western military alliance that the Kremlin sees as a threat. Do Blinken's comments represent a seismic shift in US strategy on Russia's war on Ukraine? FRANCE 24's William Hilderbrandt is joined by Anna Borshchevskaya, Senior Fellow in The Washington Institute's Diane and Guilford Glazer Foundation Program on Great Power Competition and the Middle East, focusing on Russia's policy toward the Middle East.


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