US has real concerns over Russia’s actions on Ukraine: Antony Blinken

Nov 21, 2021: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated on Saturday that his country has “real concerns” over Russia’s actions and statements on Ukraine, as tensions rise.

“We have real concerns about Russia’s unusual military activity on the border with Ukraine. We have real concerns about some of the statements that we see and hear on social media as well as in Russia,” Blinken said during a visit to Senegal.

Blinken said the concerns were “widely shared” by US allies, but declined to say whether US intelligence believed Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to occupy Ukrainian territory.

“We don’t know what President Putin’s intentions are. But we do know what’s happened in the past. We know the playbook of trying to cite some illusory provocation from Ukraine or any other country and using that as an excuse for what Russia plans to do all along,” Blinken said.

He was referring to the crisis that began in 2014 when Russia occupied the Crimean peninsula after the fall of the Ukrainian government, and backed separatists waging a conflict in Ukraine’s largely Russian-speaking east.

The Russian-speaking people in the Middle East supported the separatists. Putin on Thursday accused Western nations of escalating the conflict in Ukraine by conducting exercises in the Black Sea and flying bombers near its borders.

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