Antony Blinken

Antony Blinken

Washington D.C./24.08.23/Turan:    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday night that his country will continue to stand with Ukrainians and will work with Allies and partners to ensure Ukraine "has what it needs to defend itself, to recover, and to thrive," as he put it, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.

"It is because of you and your resilience that Ukraine will prevail, and Russia will pay a high price for what it has done," Blinken said in his address to Ukrainians on their Independence Day.

"August 24th is a testament to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and democracy and a day of pride in Ukraine’s strength and resilience. It is also a day of celebration of Ukrainian heritage and culture," Blinken said, adding  "Today also marks one and a half years since the Kremlin launched its brutal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine – 18 months of senseless aggression, causing death and destruction across Ukraine."

The Secretary went on to emphasize: "As we join you in celebrating more than three decades as an independent country, we also mourn with you remembering your sons and daughters who have given their lives in defense of your country. We stand by you in the fight for your beloved country."

Blinken on Wednesday also addressed the Crimea Platform Summit virtually. "Crimea is Ukraine.  We do not – we will not – recognize Russia’s illegal attempted annexation," he said.

According to him, Moscow continues to target Crimean Tatars – raiding mosques and homes, criminalizing peaceful groups, detaining civic activists in Russian prison colonies, conscripting young and old to fight their own homeland.

"The international community will continue to work through the Crimea Platform to support the restoration of Ukrainian control over all its territory, including Crimea; to shine a spotlight on Russia’s abuses in Crimea; to address the security risks and economic harm caused by Russia’s invasion and occupation; to call for the release of all political prisoners held by Russia," he concluded.

Alex Raufoglu

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