On Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said NATO members have the “green-light” to provide Ukraine with fighter jets as the Russian invasion enters it’s 11th day of attacks.
“That gets a green-light,” Blinken said during an appearance on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” when asked if the Polish government could send jets to Ukraine. “In fact, we’re talking with our Polish friends right now about what we might be able to do to backfill their needs if in fact they choose to provide these fighter jets to the Ukrainians. What can we do? How can we help to make sure that they get something to backfill the planes that they are handing over to the Ukrainians?”
Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, told CBS News that Ukraine is hoping to receive jets from Poland “as soon as possible.”
“We are working with our American, especially, friends and allies, on the steady supply of all the ammunition and anti-air, anti-tank and planes to be able to effectively defend our country,” she said.
Markarova said that after 11 days of fighting, Russia is “escalating” their attacks.
“It’s clear after 11 days that we also need all of us to move faster,” she said in response to the Russian escalation.
“We were not a threat to Russia unless being a peaceful democracy and just peacefully leaving in your own country is a threat,” she continued. “And if it’s so, then it’s not only about Ukraine, then Europe and the whole world is not safe.”
Blinken said the sanctions imposed on Russia are already having an impact, but noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be “doubling down and digging in on this aggression against Ukraine.”
“The impact of the sanctions is already devastating,” Blinken said. “The ruble is in freefall. Their stock market’s been shuttered for almost a week. We’re seeing a recession set in in Russia. Consumers aren’t able to buy basic products because companies are fleeing Russia, so it’s having a big impact.”
“I think we have to be prepared, unfortunately, tragically, for this to go on for some time,” he added.
The secretary of state also said that Ukrainian officials “have plans in place” if something happens to the nation’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“The Ukrainians have plans in place, that I’m not going to talk about or get into any details on, to make sure that there is what we would call ‘continuity of government’ one way or another,” he said. “And let me leave it at that.”
“Winning a battle is not the same thing as winning a war. Taking the city is not the same thing as capturing the hearts and minds of Ukrainians,” he continued. “What they’ve demonstrated with extraordinary courage is that they will not be subjugated to Vladimir Putin’s will and be under Russia’s thumb. So whether that takes another week, another month, another year to play out, it will, and I know how this is going to end. But the question is, can we end it sooner rather than later with less suffering going forward? That’s the challenge.”