The administration raises the level of confrontation. In Washington they are convinced that the Kremlin will not stop and that China will supply the Russians with weapons. Waiting for the phone call between the US and Chinese presidents, Xi
from our correspondent
WASHINGTON – The clear change of pace. The US government is targeting Vladimir Putin directly. One way or another he will have to answer for his war crimes. We will begin gathering evidence, says Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in the midst of a hectic day. The day before yesterday Joe Biden had answered a flying question from a journalist: he asks me if Putin is a war criminal? Yes, it is. For a few hours there was a rumor in Washington that the president had gone too far. It had already happened, however, in a television interview on March 17, 2021. Biden had said: Yes, I think Putin is a killer. But yesterday morning the administration mobilized to dispel any doubts. And a wave of insults and threats with few precedents has been unloaded on the Russian leader.
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Biden himself began with a brief statement in the Oval Office: Putin a murderous dictator, a pure criminal. Then Blinken summoned the press to systematize the concept: You have all seen the pictures of the Mariupol theater. Citizens had written in large letters on the road: there are children here. But the Russians bombed mercilessly. The list of attacks on civilians is long. They hit kindergartens, hospitals. And then I inform you that the State Department will begin collect evidence of these war crimes, collaborating with all international institutions and humanitarian organizations. We will publicly present the results and make sure that Putin has to answer, in one way or another, for his crimes.
Shortly afterwards, the American ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas Greenfield, speaking at the umpteenth emergency meeting of the Security Council, repeated: Russia will be held responsible for its atrocities. The American political-diplomatic offensive has already achieved a result. In the statement released yesterday by the G7, after the summit of foreign ministers, we read: The perpetrators of these war crimes will be called to answer. At this point the tension between the two nuclear superpowers seems beyond the guard level. But the escalation could continue. Blinken warned: We seriously think the Kremlin could use chemical and biological weapons. The Russians could fabricate a false pretext to carry out a devastating attack.
an atmosphere of confrontation. In Washington, the belief prevails that Putin will not stop. Yet there would be the Chinese card. But, according to Blinken, also the expected phone call between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping (scheduled for 9 local time, 14 in Italy), accompanied by great distrust: We continue to hope for a diplomatic solution. We support every attempt, possibly even that of China. We will see if the Chinese government will be consistent with the principles of international law that it says it wants to defend. But Beijing has so far moved in the opposite direction, as it refused to condemn Russian aggression. The State Department and the Pentagon they still suspect that China may provide Putin with the weapons to revive the war. And then Blinken has a harsh message for Xi Jinping too: President Biden will clearly explain to the Chinese president that there will be “consequences” if he were to supply arms to Russia.