| 25 February 2024, Sunday |

Blinken says US ‘will defend every inch of NATO territory’

Addressing a press conference in Estonia’s capital Tallinn with Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, that the United States will defend every inch of NATO territory with the “full force” of its “collective power.” Blinken’s words came during a European tour and visit to Baltic states following Russia’s launch of its war on Ukraine.

“An attack on one would be an attack on all. We and our NATO allies are prepared to meet any threat coming in our direction, from wherever it comes,” said Blinken.

“Estonia and the United States, together with our allies and partners, will continue to stand with Ukraine.”

Blinken said the US is increasing its security assistance to strengthen Ukraine’s capacity to defend itself.

“We’re providing more aid to people who are still inside Ukraine as well as to those who have left,” he said.

“And we’re raising the costs on the Kremlin and all who aid and abet its efforts in continuing this war of choice.”

Across Europe

Blinken said he met with allies and partners across Europe in Brussels, NATO, the European Union, G7 meetings and Poland.

He also said he met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in his country.

Blinken also visited landlocked Moldova, a country seeking further integration into Europe, and the three Baltic nations of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

At every stop, he emphasized that the values of democracy, the rule of law, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the international rules-based order bring those counties together.

“And as I said yesterday in Lithuania and in Latvia, the people of Estonia — who lived through decades of Soviet occupation — understand profoundly how wrong Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war in Ukraine is,” he said.

“This is not the Russian people’s war.

“This is President (Vladimir) Putin’s war to subjugate a sovereign democratic country. And until he ends it, the world will hold him accountable.”

Prime Minister Kallas said: “We have a very aggressive neighbor that we have suffered under.

“The Kremlin’s war tactic is to terrorize civilians and put them to the frontline of this war. This is brutal and heartbreaking.”

She said the Ukraine tragedy demands united support to Kyiv and also to its political, humanitarian, economic and military sectors.

“Our focus must be on the full isolation of Russia from the free world,” said Kallas.

Kallas said nations need to “adapt to the new reality and also make changes in our defenses.”

  • Anadolu Agency