We have seen no evidence of that in this moment. On the contrary, we see Russia doubling and tripling down on its aggression.
Russia’s defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, held rare telephone talks with the US defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, on Friday. Few details of the conversation emerged but both sides confirmed they had discussed Ukraine.
The Pentagon declined to offer specifics beyond saying that Austin, who initiated the conversation, emphasised a need for lines of communication amid the war in Ukraine.
Blinken pointed to Russia’s recent attacks on power stations and other civilian infrastructure in Ukraine and the mobilisation of troops who he called “horrifically, cannon fodder that Putin is trying to throw into the war”.
The fundamental difference is that Ukrainians are fighting for their country, their land, their future. Russia is not and the sooner President Putin understands that and comes to that conclusion, the sooner we will be able to end this war.
Antony Blinken, right, with France’s Catherine Colonna in Washington. Photograph: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images