US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that if he were Yevgeny Prigozhin, he would be concerned because “NATO has an open door policy and Russia has an open window policy.” He also added that the appearance of Wagner Group mercenaries in Belarus is bad news for this country.
– If I were Mr. Prigozhin, I would remain very concerned. FOR THIS has an open door policy, Russia has an open windows policy, the US Secretary of State said Anthony Blinkenalluding to a series of suspicious deaths among the Russian elite.
As he noted in a conversation at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado, although it is not known what the further effects of the Wagner Group rebellion in June will be, the appearance of mercenaries in Belarus is “bad for Belarus, because wherever Wagner appears, exploitation, death and destruction follow him.”
Blinken is another high-ranking US administration official who has been talking about a possible retaliation in recent days Vladimir Putin in Prigozhin. Previously president Joe Biden stated in Helsinki that if he were the owner of the Wagner Group, he would “be careful what he eats” and “keep an eye on his menu”. CIA chief Bill Burns said he would advise Prigozhin not to fire a person who tests his food.
“We are looking at options but I just don’t think we can replace that volume”
Referring to Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grains InitiativeBlinken said the US was working with partners on alternative options, but acknowledged that it was not possible to replace the amount of goods exported under the initiative.
“That’s because for carriers and insurers, given the threats – and more than threats, the actions that Russia has taken in the last few days – it would be very difficult to operate in this environment. That’s why we’re looking for alternatives. We are looking at options, but I just don’t think we can replace that volume,” the US Secretary of State said.
Referring to the call by the head of the congressional foreign affairs committee, Republican Michael McFaul, to nominate a special envoy for peace talks in Ukraine, Blinken said that Russia showed no desire to engage in such talks. He noted that Putin still believes that he can wait out the West and that he should be deprived of these illusions.
– If there was a change in the attitude of President Putin, maybe there would be some opening. We don’t see that at the moment,” the chief of US diplomacy assessed.
Main photo source: Reuters