Blinken: Putin is ‘moving forward’ with plan to invade Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is moving forward with plans of invading Ukraine, echoing President Biden’s warnings last week.

“Everything we’re seeing tells us that the decision we believe President Putin has made to invade is moving forward,” Blinken said while appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“We’ve seen that with provocations created by the Russian’s separatist forces over the weekend, false flag operations, now the news just this morning that the quote-unquote exercises Russia was engaged in in Belarus with 30,000 Russian forces that were supposed to end this weekend will now continue because of tensions in eastern Ukraine, tensions created by Russia and the separatists forces it backs there,” he added.

Host Margaret Brennan also asked Blinken to respond to calls from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for the West to issue preemptive sanctions this past weekend, with Zelensky accusing the West of appeasing Putin.

“We don’t want to pull the trigger until we have to because we lose the deterrent effect at the same time,” Blinken said. “We also don’t want to detail in public exactly what we’re going to do because that will forewarn Russia that we’ll be able to prepare more effectively to try to mitigate the sanctions.”

On Sunday, it was reported that Russian troops had been given the instruction to invade Ukraine. This comes just days after artillery shells exploded along the contact lines in eastern Ukraine between the Ukrainian military and Russian-backed separatists. 

Tags Antony Blinken Antony Blinken Joe Biden Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin Volodymyr Zelensky

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