Blinken to travel to Ukraine amid tensions with Russia

Secretary of State Antony Blinken holds up documents as he testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on September 14, 2021. Blinken was questioned about the Biden administration's handling of the U.S. withdraw from Afghanistan
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Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Ukraine to meet with the country’s president and foreign minister amid heightened tensions between Kyiv and Russia.

Blinken will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Wednesday “to reinforce the United States’ commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement on Tuesday.

Price noted that Blinken will also discuss “the Department’s efforts to plan for contingencies” with the U.S. Embassy’s staff and their families.

Blinken will later travel to Berlin to meet with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and hold a meeting with the Transatlantic Quad, which is made up of the U.S., France, Great Britain and Germany.

Price said that the purpose of the meeting in Germany is “to discuss recent diplomatic engagements with Russia and joint efforts to deter further Russian aggression against Ukraine, including Allies’ and partners’ readiness to impose massive consequences and severe economic costs on Russia.”

“The Secretary’s travel and consultations are part of the diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the tension caused by Russia’s military build-up and continued aggression against Ukraine,” Price added.

A group of lawmakers earlier this week also announced they were traveling to Ukraine to meet with Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials. 

Moscow has amassed more than 100,000 troops at the Ukrainian border, and Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters late last week that officials “have information that indicates that Russia is already working actively to create a pretext for a potential invasion, for a move on Ukraine.”

Russia has denied that it is planning to invade Ukraine.

Canada announced last week that its foreign minister, Mélanie Joly, was also traveling to Ukraine in addition to France and Belgium.

Tags Antony Blinken Antony Blinken John Kirby Russia Ukraine

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