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Wed May 5, 2021, 07:29 PM

Blinken heads to Ukraine in show of support after Russia troop standoff

KYIV (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden's top diplomat visits Kyiv on Thursday in a show of support after Russia massed troops near Ukraine's eastern border in a weeks-long standoff that sent alarm bells ringing in Western capitals.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to meet President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, mixing solidarity with calls for Ukraine to stick to a path of reforms and fighting corruption, days after a reformist energy official was sacked.

Biden pledged "unwavering support" to Zelenskiy in April as Kyiv and Moscow traded blame for clashes in Ukraine's eastern Donbass region and Russia deployed troops and weapons to the border.

Moscow announced a withdrawal of its forces on April 22, helping pave the way for a summit between Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could take place as early as June.


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