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Blinken says US to ‘adjust’ as Ukraine moves to strike in Russia

French President Emmanuel Macron addresses the media during a press conference at Schloss Meseberg on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, in Gransee, Germany. (Michele Tantussi/Getty Images/TNS)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken stopped short of endorsing Ukraine’s use of U.S. weapons to strike inside Russia but said the Biden administration will “adapt and adjust” as the war evolves.

“We haven’t encouraged or enabled strikes outside of Ukraine,” Blinken told reporters Wednesday during a visit to Chisinau, Moldova. But he said that “at every step along the way, we’ve adapted and adjusted as necessary. We’re always making determinations about what’s necessary to make sure that Ukraine can effectively continue to defend itself, and we’ll continue to do that.”

The comments from the top U.S. diplomat came amid increasing calls from Western officials to approve of Ukraine’s increasing use of retaliatory strikes inside Russian territory, a move the U.S. long viewed as a provocative escalation of the war against Russia’s invasion of its neighbor.

With Russia’s offensive around Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine, it sought to capitalize on the congressional delay in passage of a $61 billion funding package for Ukraine, Blinken said. The delivery of U.S. weapons since the supplemental package cleared Congress in late April has resulted in “stabilization of the front,” he said.

Supporting Moldova

Blinken spoke alongside Moldovan President Maia Sandu during a visit to Chisinau aimed at reaffirming U.S. support for the country’s increased independence from Russia and integration with Europe.

Blinken said the U.S. is pledging a fresh $50 million package for Moldova to aid its path into the European Union and build its resilience to Russian hybrid attacks. The funds will go toward Moldova’s fight against disinformation, cybersecurity and economic support, he said.

“The Moldovan people are on the receiving end of these attacks from Russia, which is trying to undermine Moldova and its democratic institutions,” Blinken said.

The U.S. has provided the former Soviet republic with about $2.5 billion in economic assistance as it seeks to wean itself off Russian energy imports and deliver promised reforms. Moldova, which won E.U. candidacy status in 2022, aims to start talks next month in an effort to complete accession by the end of the decade.


© 2024 Bloomberg L.P

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