Antony Blinken says that if Vladimir Putin completely leaves Ukraine, the U.S. will lift its sanctions on Russia. He also warned China not to get involved in the conflict because the U.S. sent thousands of troops to Australia because of the threat from China; and told NPR that China is already on the wrong side of history when it comes to Ukraine. He added:
‘If China actually helps Russia in some way, that would be even worse, and that’s something we’re very concerned about.’
It comes after National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with his Chinese counterpart in Rome on Monday, and the U.S. says Russia asked for equipment and money from China after it invaded. During the interview, Blinken said that Russian sanctions against Putin would “go away” when Russia fully withdraws from Ukraine for good. He said that the punishments against Putin were “not meant to be permanent.” It would need to be “in effect, irreversible” so that “this can’t happen again, that Russia won’t pick up and do the same thing it’s doing in a year, two, or three years,” he said.
On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will speak to Congress via video from Kyiv. Blinken’s comments come as Zelensky is getting ready to do so. U.S. aid is expected to be a big part of what he wants from the U.S., including help with the development of a no-fly zone above Ukraine. It’s becoming more likely that there will be a war between China and Australia. American troops are also being sent to Australia. This is especially true now that Russia has invaded Ukraine and there are fears that China is planning to invade Taiwan in the next few years. It will be a dry season in Australia’s Northern Territory next year, and about 2,200 troops from the rotational U.S. Marine force will be there. According to the Australian Defense Force, there will also be 250 Army personnel on the trip.
Sources say the U.S. told its allies that Russia had asked China for armed combat drones in the days after it took over Ukraine. There are more warnings from Washington to Beijing about what will happen if it helps Moscow with weapons or other aid. After 19 days, Russian forces haven’t been able to take the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, and their progress has been mostly stalled, senior U.S. officials say. There have been a lot of reports about how Moscow is getting important supplies from friends in Beijing. On Tuesday, it was revealed that American diplomats had told European countries that they knew that Moscow had asked for combat drones.
China has a growing drone industry, and it has sold drones to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates. It is known that they are working on a model that can go faster. U.S. allies have been told that Washington thinks China has expressed a desire to help Russia, which has formed an anti-West alliance with China in recent years. As a result, American officials have been stepping up their warnings to Beijing that they will take action if it agrees to meet the requests. This included a seven-hour meeting with China’s top diplomat on Monday.
It was Monday morning, and Sullivan met Yang Jiechi, who is a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo, at a hotel in Rome. Russia asked China for military help, a government official said, but the meeting was not set up to talk about that. It made Beijing the center of the most recent diplomatic push, no matter which way it turned out to be. Chinese leaders may be worried that Moscow’s invasion and Vladimir Putin’s increasingly brutal tactics will hurt them if they give them diplomatic cover.