Secretary of State Antony Blinken reacted to the Russian foreign minister’s call for his country and the U.S. to return to the Cold War-like state of “peaceful coexistence” by claiming the Kremlin is making a “mockery” of that concept with its war effort in Ukraine.
Asked about this during a joint news conference with the Estonian prime minister, Blinken was blunt in his response.
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“Peaceful coexistence has two words. The first is ‘peaceful,’” Blinken said. “And Russia’s doing everything in its power to make a mockery of that word through its aggression on Ukraine.”
Blinken went on to say that the U.S. would “welcome” peaceful coexistence “in principle” but made clear what Russia needs to do in order to get to that point.
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“It needs to start by actually making good on the word peaceful and ending the war, the aggression that it is committing in Ukraine,” Blinken said. “It’s pretty straightforward.”
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Blinken earlier noted that the Russian people are suffering as a result of the war effort, with their currency plummeting in value and major companies ceasing to do business there. He said he wants the people of Russia to know that this is all the fault of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“President Putin is making Russia a pariah, destroying in the space of a week 30 years of international openness and opportunity,” Blinken said, adding that “this is not the Russian people’s war” but “President Putin’s war to subjugate a sovereign nation.”
“And until he ends it,” Blinken continued, “the world will hold him accountable.”