“I strongly oppose that proposal,” Blinken said during a congressional hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in response to Paul’s assertion that “you can argue” that the countries that Russia attacked were part of the Soviet Union. Paul seemed to suggest that Russia’s anger at the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO—particularly given that it was in the Soviet Union—could have led to the invasion.
The pushback was prompted by Paul’s questioning of why the United States “instigated” Ukraine’s entry into NATO last fall, something Russia vehemently opposed as a “red line.”
Blinken argued that it was important to consistently defend NATO’s open-door policy.
“It is the right of these countries to decide their future and their destiny,” Blinken continues, adding that their history does not give Russia the right to attack them.
Paul replied, “No one says that.”
“They were liberated as part of this empire by force,” Blinken said.
Blinken also said that the United States sought to engage Russia on many of its concerns about Ukraine before it invaded Ukraine, but that those efforts went nowhere because Russia wasn’t really interested.
“When everything came to a head, it was quite clear, in the words of President Putin himself, that this was never about the possibility of Ukraine being part of NATO, it was always about his belief that Ukraine did not deserve to be an independent and sovereign country. “It should be reintroduced into Russia in one form or another,” Blinken said.
“There is no justification for the invasion,” said the Republican senator, but “there are reasons to invade.”
“Russia sought as the main objective to completely subjugate Ukraine, take away its sovereignty, take away its independence – and this failed,” Blinkin said at a news conference in Poland near the Ukrainian border after meeting with Zelensky. “It has sought to assert the strength of its army and its economy. We, of course, see the exact opposite, a massively underperforming army and economy…as a result of the sanctions that are in disarray.”
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