Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Russian leader Vladimir Putin is “destined to lose” as he continues to wage war on Ukraine, but added that Ukraine and its allies need to be prepared for the aggression to “last for some time.”
“Just winning a battle is not winning a war,” Blinken said on WEBICNEWS’s “State of the Union” on Sunday morning. “Taking a city does not mean he is taking the hearts and minds of the Ukrainian people.”
His remarks come as the Kremlin continues its invasion of Ukraine and meets staunch resistance from Ukrainian forces. Ukrainians have signed up en masse to defend their country, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has cemented himself as a wartime leader, refusing the U.S. offer to evacuate him and using social media messaging to communicate with his constituents from Kyiv.
Sen. Marco Rubio echoed Blinken’s sentiments on Sunday, highlighting that Russia’s economy is in free fall. “You see a person that’s now engaged themself in a conflict that he can’t win,” the Florida Republican said of Putin on WEBICNEWS.
Also on Sunday, on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Blinken indicated that there are plans in place in case Zelenskyy is killed. The Ukrainian leader has been open in media appearances and meetings with Western leaders that he could be in his final days, as his wartime leadership makes him a probable target of Moscow.
“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,” Blinken said, after lauding Zelenskyy’s leadership. “And let me leave it at that.”
The secretary of State also spoke in open terms about the possibility of banning Russian oil imports, which Zelenskyy asked Congress to do the day prior. Up until this point, the White House has been reluctant to ban oil imports from Moscow, despite growing support for the idea on both sides of the aisle in Congress.
Blinken said he discussed the potential to ban Russian oil with President Joe Biden and other U.S. and Western officials, adding that it is a “very active discussion” among the U.S. and its allies.
“We are now talking to our European partners and allies to look in a coordinated way at the prospect of banning the import of Russian oil, while making sure that there is still an appropriate supply of oil on world markets,” Blinken said.