Blinken warns of ‘swift’ retaliation if even a ‘single Russian force’ advances on Ukraine

As the potential for a Russian invasion into Ukraine intensifies seemingly by the hour, over the weekend, Secretary of State Antony Blinken set the record straight on what could happen should President Vladimir Putin move forward with any type of military action against its neighbor.

According to The Hill, Blinken boldly asserted that such an action would be met with a “swift” and “severe” retaliation from the United States and a long list of NATO allies. Blinken stated that would be the case if even a “single additional Russian force” takes action against Ukraine. 

“If a single additional Russian force goes into Ukraine in an aggressive way, as I said, that would trigger a swift, a severe and a united response from us and from Europe,” Blinken said during an interview Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

The threat comes in the wake of President Joe Biden indicating during his press conference last week that a “minor incursion” of Ukraine would be acceptable, though that gaffe was immediately cleaned up by the White House.

The secretary went on to state that, as of now, the ball is essentially in Putin’s court, adding that the Russian president has the power to make all of this go away, should he want to go the route of peace.

“At this point, Dana, the choice is Vladimir Putin’s, and there, the paths are clear. Diplomacy, dialogue, seeing if we can build collective security in a way that is good for everyone is clearly the preferable path, but we’re prepared,” Blinken said.

However, a number of developments within the past 72 hours indicate that the situation is nowhere near de-escalation, as the United States shipped some 90 tons of what was described as “lethal aid” to Ukraine over the weekend, with more expected in the coming days, NPR noted.

Only time will tell if Russia pulls the literal trigger that could spark a war between two modern countries that hasn’t been witnessed in Europe for decades. But at the end of the day, all eyes will be on the United States’ response, and President Biden only has once chance to get it right.