“By virtually every measure, President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been a strategic failure,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
One of Vladimir Putin’s long-term goals has been to divide and weaken NATO. Convinced there was little chance of armed conflict in Europe, many NATO members lowered their spending on defense. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, caused NATO allies to commit to increasing defense spending and to deployed new forces to NATO’s eastern flank.
Indeed, over the course of a few months, a backlash to Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine caused a veritable cascade of failures, poor outcomes and spoiled plans with regard to Russia’s military, economic and international endeavors.
European countries, which imported 37 percent of their natural gas from Russia, cut their imports by half. Sanctions and export controls imposed by governments around the world exposed Russia’s “long-running failure to diversify Russia’s economy, to strengthen its human capital, to fully integrate the country into the global economy,” said Secretary Blinken:
“President Putin wanted to build Russia up as a global, economic power. … Today, Russia’s economy is a shadow of what it was, and a fraction of what it could have become had Putin invested in technology and innovation rather than weapons and war.”
That said, Russia’s military also disappointed. “Today, many see Russia’s military as the second-strongest in Ukraine. Its equipment, technology, leadership, troops, strategy, tactics, and morale, a case study in failure.”
Similarly, Russia’s long-cultivated partners, including China, distanced themselves from Moscow.
Finally, “President Putin’s core aim” to erase Ukraine’s identity failed.
“Ukraine stands sovereign, independent, firmly in control of its own destiny,” said Secretary Blinken. “Ukraine’s membership in NATO will be a matter for Allies and Ukraine – not Russia – to decide.”
“The path to peace will be forged not only through Ukraine’s long-term military strength, but also the strength of its economy and its democracy,” he said. “This is at the heart of our vision for the way forward: Ukraine must not only survive, it must thrive.”
“If and when Russia is ready to work for true peace, the United States will respond in concert with Ukraine and other allies and partners around the world,” said Secretary Blinken. “In the weeks and months ahead, the United States will continue to work with Ukraine, with our allies and partners – and any and all parties dedicated to supporting a just and lasting peace.”