Secretary of State Antony Blinken's comments about support for Russia coming from China and Iran "underscores the fact that we're going to have to really up our diplomatic game," as sanctions were never the only tool the United States had in the fight to support Ukraine, Dr. Fiona Hill, a Trump administration National Security Council adviser on Russia, said Sunday.
Hill also said on CBS's "Face the Nation," that President Joe Biden must "convince the world" that the United States is fighting to defend Ukraine, not continuing its long-going rivalry with Russia and that Russian President Vladimir Putin is distorting history with his claims on the invasion.
"A lot of other countries just don't buy that there's as big an issue as we see with Russia's invasion of Ukraine," Hill, who appeared with former U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan on the program, commented. "They're always making comparisons with the great power competition among the United States and Russia and China and seeing it as part of that."
But Blinken and others in the Biden administration have been stressing that the United States isn't fighting over Ukraine as part of its competition with either China or Russia, but "trying to help Ukraine liberate itself," and that's the message that must be stressed, Hill added.
"If Russia gets away with a land grab in Ukraine, it makes the world unsafe for every country imaginable that has a territorial dispute, including, of course, all of the neighbors of China in the South China seas and East Asia, and many other countries as well, India and China, have a major dispute in the Himalayas," said Hill. "What we really have to do is to work with those middle powers, the countries in the U.N. General Assembly, to make that point that we're trying to help Ukraine liberate its territory from an unprovoked aggression."
Sullivan, meanwhile, pointed out that Russian President Vladimir "went full World War Two, World War One scale" with his invasion of Ukraine, under the belief that the nation is part of Russia, not its own country, and that Moscow could do what it wishes.
Tuesday, Putin is set to give his first State of the Nation address since the war began, speaking the same day Biden will deliver a speech in Poland, and Hill said that she thinks the Russian leader will depict the invasion as the beginning of a "great patriotic war."
"What we would imagine is that he's really trying to mobilize the Russian population in support of what he's depicting as the fight for their lives," said Hill.
Biden will have to counter that narrative not only in Europe but worldwide, said Hill.
"We've heard from many other European leaders, they do see things in the same term as a rerun of World War One and World War Two in the sense of an unprovoked aggression by a great power in Europe," she said. "President Biden's got to convince the world, the whole world at this point, not just Europeans, that we're in a fight to help Ukraine liberate itself and that everything that Putin is saying is a distortion of history."
Hill also commented on a statement that Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba made at the Munich Security Conference with claims that "the true end to the war will be when Russia's president comes to key officials, falls to his knees and begs for forgiveness."
She acknowledged that may not happen now, but "perhaps, you know, 90 years from now, some Russian president might do that. And I'm saying 90 years because actually, Ambassador Sullivan and I have some Irish heritage, and it took 90 years for the Queen, Elizabeth the Second, to actually come and ask for forgiveness in Ireland, in a very highly symbolic way for many of the conflicts."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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