Don't know about President Putin's intentions: Blinken on Ukraine 'provocation'

WION Web Team
Washington Published: Nov 20, 2021, 10:31 PM(IST)

Antony Blinken Photograph:( Reuters )

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Earlier this year, Putin's regime had amassed thousands of troops along the border with Ukraine before pulling them back.

As the Biden administration sent patrol boats to help the Ukrainian Navy counter Russia's naval might, US secretary of state Antony Blinken said he has "real concerns about Russia's unusual military activity".

"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 remarked.

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Putin's regime had annexed Crimea in 2014. Putin had said recently that Western partners were "escalating the situation by supplying Kiev with lethal modern weapons and conducting provocative manoeuvres in the Black Sea."

The Black Sea around the Crimea peninsula has become a sensitive strategic region amid tensions with Ukraine.

The White House had earlier urged Russia to "de-escalate tensions" with Ukraine. 

Also Read | US monitoring reports of ‘unusual’ Russian troop activity near Ukraine: Pentagon

Blinken added that he is "concerned" over Russia's "rhetoric" as the US sent patrol boats to Ukraine's Odesa port as part of a security package. Ukraine's foreign ministry had expressed concern over Russia's "aggressiveness" while asserting that it had moved troops along the border alleging that it was countering "hybrid threats".

Also Read |  Return Crimea to Ukraine, stop cyber attacks on America: US tells Russia 

Earlier this year, Russia had amassed thousands of troops along the border with Ukraine before pulling them back.

The tensions along the border between Poland and Belarus had spilled over to Ukraine as authorities warned migrants would be pushed back if they tried to cross the border. Ukraine's interior minister Denys Monastyrsky threatened to use firearms against the migrants.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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