Secretary of State Antony Blinken laid out a plan to massively expand Kiev's military before talks begin.
In a speech delivered in Finland on Friday, Blinken stated, "The United States—together with our allies and partners—is firmly committed to supporting Ukraine's defense today, tomorrow, for as long as it takes." He continued, "We believe the prerequisite for meaningful diplomacy and real peace is a stronger Ukraine, capable of deterring and defending against any future aggression."
Blinken dismissed the idea of even a temporary pause in the fighting. "Some countries will call for a ceasefire. And on the surface, that sounds sensible—attractive, even. After all, who doesn't want warring parties to lay down their arms? Who doesn't want the killing to stop?" He said. "But a ceasefire that simply freezes current lines in place and enables Putin to consolidate control over the territory he's seized…It would legitimize Russia's land grab. It would reward the aggressor and punish the victim."
The Secretary of State offered an ambitious vision of Kiev's future military capabilities. "America and our allies are helping meet Ukraine's needs on the current battlefield while developing a force that can deter and defend against aggression for years to come." He added, "That means helping build a Ukrainian military of the future, with long-term funding, a strong air force centered on modern combat aircraft, an integrated air and missile defense network, advanced tanks and armored vehicles, national capacity to produce ammunition, and the training and support to keep forces and equipment combat-ready."