US Foreign Minister Antony Blinken calls on Russia to stop its “reckless and aggressive actions” against Ukraine. He did this during a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenski in Kyiv.
Blinken’s visit comes just after Russia gathered more than 100,000 soldiers at the border with Ukraine last month. That was the largest mobilization of Russian forces since Moscow annexed Ukrainian Crimea in 2014 and war broke out in Eastern Ukraine.
Kyiv said the military was threatened with “the destruction of the Ukrainian state,” while Moscow said the military exercises at the border were not a cause for concern. Now that those exercises are over, the soldiers are leaving. Zelenski does not think that is going fast enough. “There may still be a threat,” he said. “Nobody wants these surprises.”
The Americans are also still on the alert for the presence of the Russian army. “We are aware that Russia has withdrawn some troops, but we also see that significant troops remain,” Blinken said. He promised that the United States would strengthen cooperation with Ukraine so that Ukraine can protect itself. The Americans have been providing aid to Ukraine since the annexation of Crimea.
Prior to the meeting, Blinken stated on behalf of President Joe Biden that he considered Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence to be necessary. His visit to the European country marks the first by a significant US official to Kyiv since Biden took office as president in January.