Blinken in Kyiv to back Ukraine against Russian threat - VIDEO - ednews.net

21 May, Saturday

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Blinken in Kyiv to back Ukraine against Russian threat - VIDEO

After talks last week failed to ease fears, the White House warned that Russia was ready to attack Ukraine at "any point".

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has landed in Kyiv for crisis talks with Ukraine's leaders, as diplomatic efforts to dissuade Russia from attacking its pro-Western neighbour falter.
 
He was greeted on Wednesday by Ukrainian officials on an icy moonlit tarmac and will later meet President Volodymyr Zelensky.
 
After talks last week failed to ease fears, the White House warned Tuesday that Russia was ready to attack Ukraine at "any point".
 
It was a marked intensification of its threat assessment ahead of a meeting between Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expected in Geneva on Friday.
 
Hoping to show robust support ahead of the talks, the top US diplomat is making a one-day visit to Kyiv in a show of support for Ukraine.
 
 
Seeking Western unity
 
Blinken heads Thursday to Berlin for four-way talks with Britain, France and Germany to seek Western unity.
 
"We're now at a stage where Russia could at any point launch an attack on Ukraine," the White House's Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday.
 
"No option is off the table," she said, warning of an "extremely dangerous situation".
 
And she said that Russian President Vladimir Putin "has created this crisis".
 
Moscow has repeatedly denied that an invasion is planned.

 

Diplomatic off-ramp

In a call between the US and Russian top diplomats ahead of Blinken's trip, the Russian foreign ministry said Lavrov had called on Blinken "not to replicate speculation about the allegedly impending 'Russian aggression'".
 
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that Blinken "stressed the importance of continuing a diplomatic path to de-escalate tensions".
 
And a US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Blinken's goal was to see "if there is a diplomatic off-ramp" and "common ground" where Russia can be persuaded to pull back from Ukraine.
 
With tens of thousands of Russian troops massing on Ukraine's borders, efforts have intensified to prevent tensions escalating into a new European war.
 
Kyiv has been battling a pro-Moscow insurgency in two breakaway regions bordering Russia since 2014, when the Kremlin annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.
 
The conflict in eastern Ukraine has so far left more than 13,000 dead.

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