Speed Reads

'back to life'

Blinken tells senators Ukraine 'has won the battle for Kyiv'

Secretary of State Antony Blinken testified before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Tuesday, following his weekend trip to Kyiv, Ukraine, with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

In Kyiv, Blinken said he "saw the signs of a vibrant city coming back to life" after Ukrainian forces fended off a Russian attempt to capture the city. "[I]t was right there in front of us: the Ukrainians have won the battle for Kyiv," he added, according to The Guardian.

Blinken also said that continued U.S. support "is critical in my judgment to ensuring that Russia's war in Ukraine is a strategic failure for the Kremlin."

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) asked Blinken whether the U.S. would accept a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine in which Ukraine agreed not to join NATO or the European Union. "We, Senator, are not gonna be more Ukrainian than the Ukrainians," Blinken responded, adding that the U.S. is working to put Ukraine in the best possible negotiating position and will support Ukraine's leaders regardless of their decision.

He also fielded questions from a number of senators on reducing European dependence on Russian energy exports. Blinken said the U.S. is stepping up production and working to ensure steady supplies of oil and natural gas to Europe, but is committed to doing so in a way that will not "inflate energy prices and line [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's pockets" but will "advance ... the transition, over time, to renewables."