Blinken told EU leaders he believes Russia's war on Ukraine could last until the end of 2022, CNN reports

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on January 19, 2022.Alex Brandon/Getty Images
  • Anthony Blinken said the Russia-Ukraine war could be drawn out through 2022, CNN reported.

  • EU officials are increasingly concluding the conflict will not end quickly.

  • Two officials told CNN that Blinken warned US allies that the war could last for months.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told European Union allies that he believes Russia's war on Ukraine could last for the rest of the year, according to CNN.

Two European officials told the outlet of Blinken's assessment that the conflict will not end quickly. Another two said that they believed fighting in eastern Ukraine could continue for another four to six months, CNN reported.

Asked by CNN for comment, a senior State Department official said that Blinken had discussed concerns over the conflict stretching out, but that his goal was to "bring it to a halt as quickly as possible."

Officals are increasingly seeing the conflict as having no quick end on the horizon, with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan saying in an April 4 White House press briefing that "it may not be just a matter of a few more weeks before all is said and done."

The next phase of the war "could be measured in months or longer," he said. But Blinken's assessment stretches the potential time frame out even further.

Several officials also told CNN that President Vladimir Putin's military aims are unchanged despite his failure to capture key sites such as Kyiv.

In a rare state TV appearance on Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia would continue fighting until its "noble" aims are met, the BBC reported.

The announcement came a week after Russian troops withdrew from around Kyiv, to be repositioned around the Donbas in eastern Ukraine.

Putin appears to have believed the invasion — referred to only as a "special military operation" in Russian propaganda — would take a matter of days.

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced an $800 million defense aid package for Ukraine, including heavy artillery, signalling that there is no let-up in the US's support for the country.

Read the original article on Business Insider