US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says he is “convinced” that Russian president Vladimir Putin will try to overthrow the Ukrainian government.
In an interview with US broadcaster ABC, Mr Blinken said it was “part of the Russian plan” to assault the capital Kyiv and other major cities in Ukraine, along with launching a multi-pronged attack on the country from the north, east and south borders.
Mr Blinken said a Russian attack beyond Ukraine was “a possibility”, but reiterated the US’ commitment towards defending its Nato allies, warning that “an attack on one member of Nato is an attack on all members of Nato”.
“The President’s been very clear that we will defend every inch of Nato territory. I think that’s the most powerful deterrent against President Putin going beyond Ukraine,” he said.
Mr Blinken also reiterated US President Joe Biden’s position that the possibility of expanding existing US sanctions to target Mr Putin directly was still “on the table”, if the situation were to escalate.