Blinken: There is no ceasefire in Ukraine without Russia's withdrawal

2023-06-02 17:40:54, Kosova & Bota CNA
Blinken: There is no ceasefire in Ukraine without Russia's withdrawal
US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said there can be no ceasefire in Ukraine unless a "fair and lasting" peace deal is reached.

Blinken added that the military withdrawal of Russia from Ukraine should also be included in this agreement.

Blinken stressed that "a cease-fire that only freezes the current lines" and allows the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, "to consolidate control over the territory he has captured, rest, rearm and attack again... this is not a just and lasting peace".

Russia should also pay reparations for part of the reconstruction of Ukraine and be held responsible for launching the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Blinken said in his June 2 speech during a visit to Finland.

As he pointed out, any plan that would allow Russia to keep a fifth of the occupied territory of Ukraine would send the wrong message to Russia and to “other potential aggressors around the world.

Meanwhile, Russia wants that in the eventual negotiations for peace, the issue of Ukraine's request for NATO membership will also be considered.

The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, has requested Ukraine's membership in this military alliance, which the Kremlin sees as a threat.

"Obviously, this [issue] will be one of the potential problems for many, many years to come," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on June 2.

Blinken said Washington is willing to support other countries' peace efforts, including recent efforts by China and Brazil. However, he emphasized that any peace agreement must uphold the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The United States of America is among Ukraine's main allies and its biggest supplier of military aid to help it fight against Russia.

China, which says it is neutral and wants to serve as a mediator but has politically backed Moscow, on June 2 asked the West to stop sending weapons to Ukraine.

In Ukraine, on June 2, air defenses shot down more than 30 Russian missiles and drones, during Moscow's sixth air attack on Kiev in the past six days, local officials said./ REL

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