Blinken says allowing Russia to bully Ukraine would mean ‘open season’ worldwide | Inquirer News

Blinken says allowing Russia to bully Ukraine would mean ‘open season’ worldwide

/ 10:13 AM August 09, 2022
Blinken says allowing Russia to bully Ukraine would mean ‘open season’ worldwide

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, accompanied by South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor (not pictured), speaks during a strategic dialogue opening session meeting at the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation in Pretoria, South Africa, August 8, 2022. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS

JOHANNESBURG — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that if Russia were allowed to bully Ukraine, to invade and take territory without being opposed, then it would be “open season” around the world.

The United States’ top diplomat was speaking at a news conference alongside South Africa’s foreign minister Naledi Pandor as part of a visit that will also take him to Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

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“If we allow a big country to bully a smaller one, to simply invade it and take its territory, then it’s going to be open season, not just in Europe but around the world,” Blinken said.

Blinken says allowing Russia to bully Ukraine would mean ‘open season’ worldwide

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor depart following a news conference after a meeting at the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation, in Pretoria, South Africa, August 8, 2022. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS

Blinken said the United States felt it was important to stand up to Russia because its aggression against Ukraine threatened the foundational principles of the international system.

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Russia deployed tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine on Feb. 24, in what it calls a “special military operation” to demilitarize Ukraine and protect Russian speakers there.

Pandor said no one in South Africa supported the war in Ukraine but that the prescripts of international law were not being applied evenly. “We should be equally concerned at what is happening to the people of Palestine, as we are with what is happening to the people of Ukraine,” she said.

Blinken says allowing Russia to bully Ukraine would mean ‘open season’ worldwide

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor depart following a news conference after a meeting at the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation, in Pretoria, South Africa, August 8, 2022. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS

South Africa abstained from a United Nations vote denouncing the invasion of Ukraine, and like other African countries has resisted calls to condemn Russia.

Blinken also described comments by China that it would cease cooperation with the United States on dealing with climate change as “punishing the entire world, and especially the developing world and, notably, Africa”.

Touching on Kenya’s general elections on Tuesday, Blinken said the U.S. expectation was that the vote would take place peacefully, freely and openly.

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TAGS: Antony Blinken, Russia-Ukraine war, US
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