The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed hope on Monday that the counterattack on Ukraine would succeed, saying that it might force Russian President Vladimir Putin to negotiate an end to his invasion of that country.

Blinken, flanked by his Italian counterpart, said the United States was “confident that they (the Ukrainians) will continue to succeed,” after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced ongoing “counter-offensive and defensive operations”.

Blinken considered, “The success of the counterattack would achieve two things, strengthening Ukraine’s position at any new negotiating table, and it might also lead to making Putin focus in the end on negotiating to end the war he started”.

“In this sense, this can bring peace closer, not further distance it,” he added in a joint press conference with Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Taiani.

He believed that the attack showed the need to maximize our support for Ukraine now, so that it can achieve success on the battlefield.

Russia has spoken publicly in support of negotiations, and China has led international calls for mediation.

The United States is skeptical of such efforts, seeing that Russia is not serious about negotiations and is only interested in preserving its gains on the ground.

Blinken said that peace must be “just and lasting”.

“By permanent we mean a peace that does not simply leave things in a place where Russia can rest and rearm again after six months, after a year, after two years,” he said.

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