Blinken: Russian attack on Ukraine could be launched with ‘very short notice’

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said that a Russian attack on Ukraine could be launched on “very short notice,” further expressing the urgency around fending off such invasion.

“We know that there are plans in place to increase that force even more on very short notice, and that gives President Putin the capacity, also on very short notice, to take further aggressive action against Ukraine,” Blinken said in remarks at the U.S. Embassy in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

“And that, of course, has gotten not only our attention but it’s gotten the attention of virtually all of our allies and partners, and not just in Europe, even beyond,” he continued. 

Russia has amassed at least 100,000 troops near its border with Ukraine, and recently moved forces to Belarus for military drills.

Blinken’s comments come a day after White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that Russia could attack Ukraine at “any point.”

“Our view is this is an extremely dangerous situation. We’re now at a stage where Russia could at any point launch an attack in Ukraine,” Psaki said, adding that her comments were “more stark than we have been.”

U.S. and Russian officials engaged in a series of diplomatic talks last week, which ended without a breakthrough from Moscow and a bleak outlook for further diplomatic talks.   

Last Friday, the Biden administration said it had evidence that Russia was preparing a false flag operation that could serve as the pretext for invading Ukraine. 

Blinken is in Ukraine to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to recap those talks.

The secretary will then travel to Germany on Thursday, and on Friday meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, during which he plans to urge Russia to deescalate tensions along the Ukrainian border.

“We’ll see where we are at the end of the week, and again, I strongly, strongly hope that we can keep this on a diplomatic and peaceful path, but ultimately that’s going to be President [Vladimir] Putin’s decision,” Blinken said.

Tags Antony Blinken Border build up embassy Jen Psaki Russia-Ukraine conflict State Department

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