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American Antony Blinken to visit Ukraine despite fears of Russian invasion

Russian-Ukrainian conflict: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will fly to Ukraine on Tuesday.

Washington:

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will fly to Ukraine on Tuesday in a show of support amid fears of a Russian invasion, the State Department said.

Blinken, who will meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Wednesday, “will reinforce the United States’ commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

Blinken will also travel to Berlin on Thursday for quadripartite talks with Britain, France and Germany on the Ukraine crisis.

The four transatlantic powers will discuss “joint efforts to deter further Russian aggression against Ukraine, including the willingness of allies and partners to impose massive consequences and severe economic costs on Russia,” Price said in a statement. communicated.

Blinken’s trip “follows extensive diplomacy with our European allies and partners on a united approach to addressing the threat Russia poses to Ukraine and our joint efforts to encourage it to choose diplomacy and de-escalation. in the interests of security and stability,” Price said.

It comes as Blinken’s German and French counterparts also travel to Ukraine, following the trip to the front by top European diplomat Josep Borrell.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock also met in Moscow on Tuesday in hopes of defusing the crisis.

Russia sent tens of thousands of troops to the borders with Ukraine last year, according to Western officials who fear another invasion.

Russia denies invasion plans but has demanded security guarantees from the West, including promises that NATO will not be extended to Ukraine.

The United States and its allies held in-depth talks with Russia last week, including at a meeting of senior diplomats from both countries in Geneva.

Russia has publicly said it is disappointed with the results, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying on Tuesday that Moscow needs answers before continuing the dialogue.

The United States says Russian demands are futile and that Ukraine, where thousands have died in a pro-Russian insurgency launched in 2014, has the right to make its own decisions.

European allies are cautious about admitting Ukraine into the alliance for fear of angering Russia.

The United States warned of major economic consequences and expressed hope that Germany would cut off the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline which will soon open if Russia invades.

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