US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has ruled out negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, claiming that Moscow has not demonstrated its readiness for “constructive” talks.
He made the unsubstantiated remarks during a press briefing in Germany on Friday, demanding that Russia must first show its willingness to engage in "constructive negotiations" with the goal of a "just and lasting peace."
Blinken then went on to claim that although the idea of a ceasefire may be "tempting," it will not contribute to a "just and lasting peace" if it means "ratification" of Moscow’s control over the former Ukrainian territories that voted in a referendum to join the Russian federation following the start of its “special military operation” in neighboring Ukraine aimed at protecting the country’s Russian-speaking population as well as blocking further eastward advance of the US-led NATO military alliance.
Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine back in February 2022 in face of Kiev’s surging attacks on the pro-Russia Donbass republics and NATO’s failure to satisfy Russia’s persisting demands for security guarantees amid growing calls for Ukraine’s NATO membership, which would eventually place hostile Western military forces and weaponry on Russian border.
This is while Russian and Ukrainian delegations have engaged in several rounds of peace talks since the military operations began, though the negotiations ultimately reached an impasse.
While Moscow has reiterated that it is open for talks with Kiev, Ukraine’s Western-sponsored President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree in October 2022 that would bar any negotiations with Russia.
Meanwhile, the US and its mostly European allies have persistently been supplying Kiev with advanced weaponry and other military hardware as well as providing training to Ukrainian armed forces.
Russia has repeatedly reiterated that the key objective of the US-led alliance backing the Kiev regime is to prolong the war in Ukraine, further warning that any military equipment shipped to Ukraine would constitute a legitimate target for Russian forces.
The US announced a new $2.6 billion military aid package for Ukraine earlier this month that would include tank munitions, air surveillance radars, anti-tank rockets and fuel trucks.
According to local press report, the list of weaponry being considered for the package would also include precision aerial munitions, recovery vehicles and additional rounds for NASAMS air defenses that the US and allies have already supplied to Kiev.
So far, the Biden administration has committed more than $31.7 billion in "security" assistance since the start of the 2022 conflict.
According to TASS calculations in January, Ukraine has received Western military aid of around $48.5 billion since the start of the war, which is practically equal to Russia’s 2022 defense budget.
The overall aid, received by the Kiev government from Western countries and international organizations since the start of the war, is estimated at more than $150.8 billion in Ukraine, the report said.
Russia and its allies have persistently warned that the reason the Ukraine conflict is not coming to an end is that US and its allies are arming Ukraine with continuous supply of high-tech military warfare in their bid to prolong the bloody war.