US pours cold water on hopes of diplomatic solution in Ukraine

The US secretary of state has poured chilly water on hopes of a diplomatic settlement to the struggle in Ukraine, saying there have been no indicators Vladimir Putin was “prepared to stop” Russia’s invasion of its neighbour.

Antony Blinken performed down expectations the warring international locations would be capable of come to an settlement that might see Russia withdraw its forces from Ukraine as he vowed Washington would examine “war crimes” carried out by the Russian navy.

“From where I sit, diplomacy obviously requires both sides engaging in good faith to de-escalate,” Blinken stated throughout a press convention on the state division in Washington on Thursday.

“The actions that we’re seeing Russia take every single day, virtually every minute of every day, are in total contrast to any serious diplomatic effort to end the war,” he added.

In a stark evaluation of Russia’s intentions a month into the battle, Blinken laid out what he thought Putin’s subsequent strikes may be, together with the usage of chemical weapons, the deployment of pro-Russian mercenaries, and the kidnapping of native officers to get replaced with pro-Russian puppet leaders. 

“We have a strong sense of what Russia could do next,” Blinken stated, mentioning that the US had been appropriate in its evaluation that Putin supposed to invade. “We believe that Moscow may be setting the stage to use a chemical weapon and then falsely blame Ukraine to justify escalating its attacks.”

He additionally attacked Moscow for its more and more grotesque assaults on civilian targets within the nation, together with a hospital, colleges and a theatre within the port metropolis of Mariupol that served as a shelter for a lot of households.

Bliken’s feedback got here a day after US president Joe Biden labelled Putin a “war criminal” for the primary time.

“Intentionally targeting civilians is a war crime. After all the destruction of the past few weeks, I find it difficult to conclude that the Russians are doing otherwise,” Blinken stated.

He added: “Our experts are in the process of documenting and evaluating potential war crimes being committed in Ukraine. We’ll make sure that our findings help international efforts to investigate war crimes and hold those responsible accountable”.

Blinken spoke a day after Biden introduced a brand new bundle of navy help to Ukraine, together with anti-aircraft techniques, anti-tank weapons, and armed drones to assist the nation fend off the Russian assault.

Biden is planning to journey to Brussels on the finish of subsequent week to additional co-ordinate the west’s response to the struggle, after warning that it might find yourself being a “long and difficult battle”.

On Friday, Biden is because of converse with Xi Jinping, Chinese language president, concerning the struggle in Ukraine, after escalating considerations in Washington that Beijing is siding with Moscow within the battle.

“We believe China in particular has a responsibility to use its influence with president Putin and to defend the international rules and principles that it professes to support,” Blinken stated.

“Instead, it appears China is moving in the opposite direction by refusing to condemn this aggression, while seeking to portray itself as a neutral arbiter. And we’re concerned that they’re considering directly assisting Russia with military equipment to use in Ukraine.”

Bliken added that Biden would in his name with Xi “make clear that China will bear responsibility for any actions it takes to support Russia’s aggression, and we will not hesitate to impose costs”.

Blinken’s phrases got here after Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, stored up the stress on the west to additional bolster navy help for the nation and whereas imposing contemporary sanctions on Russia in response to the invasion.

After addressing members of US Congress on Wednesday, Zelensky spoke to German lawmakers on Thursday, delivering an excoriating assault on its leaders for putting good financial relations with Putin over the safety of Europe.

“We’ve seen how many ties your companies have with Russia with a country that just uses you and other countries to finance its war,” Zelensky stated in a digital tackle on the Bundestag.

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