Blinken says US has seen reports of Russian abuses in Ukraine “that would constitute a war crime”

“We’ve seen very credible reports of deliberate attacks on civilians, which would constitute a war crime,” Blinken told CNN’s State of the Union correspondent Jake Tapper. “We’ve seen very credible reports about the use of certain weapons.” The minister seemed to refer to Russia’s suspicion of using cluster bombs in dense areas inhabited by many civilians.

“And what we do now is document all of this, put it all together, look at it and make sure that when the right people, organizations and institutions investigate whether war crimes have been committed or are being committed, we can support anything,” Blinken said. in these reports. They are very reliable and we document everything.”

The International Criminal Court said last week that Will immediately initiate an active investigation Possible war crimes following the unjustified Russian invasion of Ukraine. The US Embassy in Kyiv said in a tweet On Friday, Russia’s attack on a nuclear power plant in Ukraine was considered a war crime, although the US State Department then sent an urgent letter to all US embassies in Europe asking them not to retweet the Kyiv embassy’s tweet.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas Greenfield echoed what Blinken said Sunday, saying the United States is “working with our partners to collect and provide information” on potential war crimes. “Any attack on civilians is a war crime,” she said. News letters.
Although President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have said that Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be targeting civilian areas, Biden has Short stop last week By saying that Putin committed a war crime.

“We’re following it closely,” Biden said. “It’s too early to say that.”

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In its new investigation, the ICC said it would consider all proceedings in Ukraine from 2013 to the present. Russia first entered the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, which it later annexed, in 2014. The International Criminal Court was already investigating crackdowns on protesters by the former pro-Russian Ukrainian government. This new referral appears to put all of the potential war crimes together.

Blinken also told CNN on Sunday that the United States is willing to accept that Ukrainian refugees, Although he did not say how many administration would receive it.

Asked if the United States would accept any of the more than 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine who have crossed into neighboring countries since the start of the war, he said, “Of course, we’ll look at that.”

“The United States is committed to doing anything we can, first of all, to support countries that bear the direct burden of receiving Ukrainians. And then, as appropriate, if people seek refugee status in the United States, of course, we will look into that and I am sure to act on it.”

Russian oil import ban

In his interview with Tapper, Blinken said the United States is working with its allies in Europe to consider the possibility of banning Russian oil imports in an effort to further punish the country.

“When it comes to Russian oil and oil, I was on the phone yesterday with the President and other members of the Cabinet on exactly this subject, and we are now talking with our European partners and allies to consider in a coordinated manner the possibility. The ban on the import of Russian oil while making sure that adequate supplies continue,” Blinken said. of oil in world markets.

Comments come after a few days The Biden administration seems to be underestimating this Its openness to punishing Russian oil, underscoring the importance of taking any unprecedented action against the world’s largest oil producer.

Leaders of both parties have called in recent days for the United States to cut off its supplies of Russian oil, including Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who co-sponsored legislation to ban Russian oil imports.

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“We should not allow Vladimir Putin to have the power at any moment to raise gas prices for Americans by cutting us off at some point now or in the future. So we should cut it off now and replace it with American oil,” he told Tapper in a later appearance in State of the Union. “.

“And we can use our strategic reserves for that,” Rubio said. “It makes absolutely no sense to continue to buy oil from Russia that they are using to fund this war and this murderous campaign they are waging.”

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia, on Sunday also urged the United States to cut off its supplies of Russian oil, telling NBC’s “Meet the Press” that his voters think “it’s stupid to keep buying products and giving profit, And give the money, so that Putin can use it against the Ukrainian people.”

Manchin and Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska Submitted a bill last week Cutting Russian oil and increasing US domestic production to make up for it. Addressing the potential economic impact of the proposed ban, Manchin said gas prices were already high and “it wasn’t because of that.”

This story has been updated with additional feedback and background information.

Chandlis Duster, Ali Min, Kevin Liptak, Zachary B.

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