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Blinken Reiterates Biden Claim That Putin Has Decided on Invading Ukraine

Feb. 20, 2022 (EIRNS)—Speaking on CBS News’ ‟Face the Nation“ this morning, Secretary of State Antony Blinken again repeated Biden’s specious claim, made at Biden’s Feb. 18 press conference, that Putin has decided to invade Ukraine. “I don’t believe he has changed his mind,” Blinken said. Blinken said that his presence at the Munich Security Conference on Feb. 17-18 was to “make sure we are in lockstep with our allies” on the issue of Ukraine.

Host Margaret Brennan posed to Blinken, that he had said he would “meet with Lavrov if there were no invasion,” and demanded to know: “But does that mean Russia has carte blanche to continue cyberattacks, to continue funding separatists in the East? If they keep tensions at this low boil, is that acceptable to you? Will you still sit down and negotiate?” Blinken replied,

“First of all, it’s not acceptable, and it’s one of the things that we’ve talked about in some detail with allies and partners this weekend. That is a scenario by which Russia just keeps things at a low or medium boil, and there will be a response to that, too. But in terms of engaging Russia, my job as a diplomat is to leave absolutely no stone unturned and see if we can prevent a war. And if there’s anything that I can do to do that, I’m going to do it. President Biden has made very clear that he’s prepared to meet President Putin at any time in any format if that can help prevent a war. And as long as—even if the die is cast, until it’s settled, until we know that the tanks are rolling, the planes are flying, and the aggression has fully begun, we’re going to do everything we can to prevent it.”

When Blinken was asked about Zelenskyy’s accusations that the West was “appeasing” Russia and wondering why the sanctions were waiting until an attack was launched, Blinken said, “We don’t want to pull the trigger before that happens.” He remarked that the U.S. and NATO had already provided a great deal of equipment for Ukraine to defend itself against an attack and more would be provided if an attack actually came. When asked if the U.S. would accept a compromise that involved recognizing Crimea as a part of Russia, Blinken said, “No.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told Face the Nation, that with its mobilization, “Russia wants to contest our abilities on the Eastern front.” When asked if NATO was prepared to deal with a flight of refugees if hostilities began, he said that they were presently concentrating on preventing an attack on Ukraine, but if it did occur, they would be able to deal with the flow of refugees. “We did that when we had the refugee crisis with Belarus,” he said, avoiding the tremendous difference in scale of such a comparison.

Also interviewed on the program was Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Makarova. She would not comment on Zelenskyy’s statement at the Munich Security Conference about the West “appeasing” Russia by holding up the sanctions, but rather expressed gratitude to the U.S.

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