Russia’s war in Ukraine is likely to “go on for some time” and now is the time to increase military aid, the US secretary of state has said.

Antony Blanken said “fierce” fighting continues on Ukraine’s eastern front – but Western partners are “determined to make sure Ukrainians have what they have lost and to counter Russian aggression”. are required”.

Appearing at a news conference in Washington DC alongside British Foreign Secretary James Cleverley, Mr Blanken also warned that Russia would “continue to use energy to punish countries that support Ukraine”.

“I expect this will unfortunately continue for some time,” Mr Blanken said.

“But we are determined together … to make sure that Ukrainians have what they have lost and what they need to deal with Russian aggression.”

Mr. Cleverly has traveled to Washington to discuss the war, and spoke with Mr. Blanken in an effort to persuade Western leaders to step up support.

Referring to Britain. Batch of 14 tanks For Ukraine, Mr Cleverley said it was important to provide “the right equipment at the right time” so that Kyiv could engage in the kind of fighting it needed.

Mr Blanken welcomed Britain’s decision to supply British Army Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine.

The US secretary of state indicated that the US would make an announcement in the coming days, with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hosting talks with key allies in Ramstein, Germany later this week.

“We’ve consistently provided what Ukraine needs and we’re doing it by making sure that we’re accountable for what’s happening on the battlefield,” he said. As well as showing where it could go.”

“We are committed to ensuring that Ukraine has what it needs to succeed on the battlefield.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has ordered about 300 modern Western battle tanks to enable his forces to counter Russian aggression.

In practice this means the US Abrams tank and the German Leopard 2 – or a combination of the two – are likely to be available in greater numbers than the Challenger 2.

Mr Cleverley, who is in Washington to urge Americans to go “further and faster” in support of Ukraine, praised the US effort to date, saying it is the largest single donor of aid to Ukraine. – Both military and economic.

He said the United States and the United Kingdom, along with other allies, have worked together to ensure that Ukraine has the support it needs.

“Never in living memory has Russia been so isolated and the transatlantic alliance so united,” he said.

“If Putin believed the world would grow weary of Ukraine and lose the strength to resist his ambitions, it was yet another colossal misunderstanding on his part.”

Mr Blanken also confirmed the US administration’s call for a negotiated settlement of the dispute between the UK and the EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

After discussions with Mr Cleverley, Mr Blanken said he had stressed President Joe Biden’s unequivocal support for the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.

“The United States believes that there must be a negotiated settlement to the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol that is acceptable to all parties,” he said. “We are pleased that the UK and the EU have made substantial progress towards a negotiated solution in recent days.”

Meanwhile, China said it welcomed Mr Blanken’s visit to the country amid reports he would visit in early February.



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