Blinken: Putin shows no signs of engaging in diplomacy

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said there was no indication that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to end Russian aggression in Ukraine or wanted to engage in any meaningful diplomacy.

In a Friday press conference with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, Blinken said: “Everything indicates that, far from being willing to engage in meaningful diplomacy, President Putin continues to push in the direction opposite.”

“We are and will be considering all means to advance diplomacy if we see an opening to advance it by any means.”

Ukrainian forces shell Russian positions in the occupied and illegally annexed southern region of Kherson.

Targets include resupply routes across a river.

The Ukrainian army is closing in on a full assault on Kherson, one of the first urban areas captured by Russia after invading the country.

Russian-installed officials reportedly tried desperately to turn Kherson into a fortress.

The White House said Thursday that Iranian troops are “directly engaged on the ground” in Crimea to support Russian drone attacks on Ukrainian power plants and other key infrastructure, saying it has troubling evidence of the growing role of Tehran in aiding Russia as it inflicts suffering on Ukrainian civilians. as the cold weather sets in.

A letter from Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and members of the UN Security Council was obtained by The Associated Press ahead of a closed council meeting on Wednesday night requested by the Britain, France and the United States over Iran’s sale of hundreds of drones to Russia.

The three Western countries strongly support Ukraine’s claim that the drones were transferred to Russia and violate a 2015 UN Security Council resolution that endorsed Iran’s six-nation nuclear deal – the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear activities and preventing the country from developing a nuclear weapon.

Blinken told reporters, “We believe Russia has received dozens of these drones so far from Iran, with more potentially on the way. But beyond the constant warning about this, going back well before Russian aggression, we have taken action against Iran’s disposal of drones to anyone using them in an aggressive and dangerous manner.

The two diplomats also discussed the chances of reviving the Iran nuclear deal.

Former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal known as the JCPOA in 2018 and negotiations between the Biden administration and Iran for the US to join the deal are ongoing. dead point.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution demanding an immediate end to violence and criminal activity in Haiti and imposing sanctions on individuals and groups who threaten peace and stability in the poorest nation in the western hemisphere.

He designates a powerful gang leader.

Blinken’s French counterpart, Colonna, said, “We support the search for stability for Haiti, a country that is once again steeped in violence and poverty, and we are well aware of the gravity of the situation that is in the hands of criminal gangs which only makes the situation worse.”

The sanctions were the first authorized by the UN’s most powerful body since 2017.

Friday’s approval of the resolution by the council’s 15 nations demonstrated a rare sign that council members can work together.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said a second resolution was being prepared to help restore security in the crisis-stricken Caribbean nation.

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Christi C. Elwood