PRETORIA, South Africa — Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken warned on Monday that if nations don’t stand as much as Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, that may give a inexperienced gentle for related aggressions worldwide.
“If we allow a big country to bully a smaller one, to simply invade it and take its territory, then it’s going to be open season, not just in Europe but around the world,” he advised a information convention in Pretoria, after holding talks with Naledi Pandor, the international minister of South Africa.
South Africa was amongst dozens of countries that did not instantly condemn President Vladimir V. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February, which dissatisfied American officers. South Africa then joined 16 different African nations in abstaining from voting in March on a United Nations General Assembly decision condemning Russia, whereas 28 nations on the continent voted in favor of the decision.
Ms. Pandor advised the information convention that Mr. Blinken had insisted in their talks that he was not making an attempt to power her nation to choose to denounce Russia.
“Secretary Blinken has confirmed that America is not asking us to choose,” she mentioned. “I don’t recall any attempt by the United States to do that. But in terms of my interaction with some of our partners in Europe and elsewhere, there has been a sense of patronizing bullying — you choose this or else.”
“We’ve been quite clear in saying that we really advocate for peace,” Ms. Pandor mentioned.
In a coverage speech afterward Monday at the University of Pretoria, Mr. Blinken mentioned that financial devastation brought on by the coronavirus pandemic had “been deepened by Russia’s unprovoked war on Ukraine.”
He cited World Bank estimates that the invasion of Ukraine might add one other 40 million individuals — most of them in Africa — to the ranks of the 193 million individuals worldwide who want humanitarian meals help.
Russian officers have advised African leaders that the U.S.-led sanctions on their nation over the struggle in Ukraine have deepened the international meals disaster, whereas failing to say how Russian naval management had till lately prevented grain shipments from leaving Ukraine, certainly one of the world’s greatest grain exporters, through its Black Sea ports.
Mr. Blinken tied the Ukraine battle to anti-imperial independence actions by Africans, which he mentioned have helped forge “a system of rules and principles” that embody “the right of every nation to have its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity respected — a principle at stake right now in Ukraine.”
Mr. Blinken additionally mentioned on Monday that he had licensed a new round of U.S. military aid to Ukraine, the 18th such bundle since August 2021. The shipments will embody “arms, munitions and equipment from U.S. Department of Defense inventories for Ukraine’s self-defense,” he mentioned in an announcement.