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Thu May 6, 2021, 10:17 AM

Blinken in Ukraine reaffirms U.S. support amid Russia tensions

Source: PBS/AP

By — Yuras Karmanau, Associated Press

May 6, 2021 8:36 AM EDT

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with top Ukrainian officials in Kyiv Thursday and reaffirmed Washington’s support for the country in the wake of heightened tensions with Russia, fueled by its recent troop buildup near the borders with Ukraine.

The top American diplomat met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and reiterated the U.S.’s commitment to Ukraine’s “sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence,” while also underscoring the importance of Ukraine’s efforts to tackle widespread corruption and carry out reforms.

“Ukraine is facing two challenges: aggression from outside, coming from Russia, and in effect aggression from within, coming from corruption, oligarchs and others who are putting their interests ahead of those of the Ukrainian people,” Blinken told a news conference after his meeting with Zelensky.

By visiting so early in his tenure, before any trip to Russia, Blinken signaled that Ukraine is a high foreign-policy priority for President Joe Biden’s administration. His visit was highly anticipated in Ukraine, with hopes for increased military aid and strong support for NATO membership being voiced on the frontlines of the battle against Russia-backed separatists in the east and in the halls of government in Kyiv.

Read more: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/blinken-in-ukraine-reaffirms-u-s-support-amid-russia-tensions

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