Blinken, Russian FM Meets Amid Ukraine Tensions

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Ukraine UkraineUnited States Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts on Thursday. The meeting took place at a time of tension over Russian military deployments on Ukraine’s borders. A State Department official confirmed the meetings. The meeting took place on the sidelines of a minister-level meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He first met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and later with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

According to CNN, Blinken warned Russia to stand down on its efforts to destabilize Ukraine. Blinken further said that there would be “severe consequences” for any Russian military action. “We’ve seen this playbook before in 2014 when Russia last invaded Ukraine, then as now they significantly increased combat forces near the border,” Blinken said.

Blinken told Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, “You know, the Ukrainian people know, the unwavering commitment of the United States to Ukraine’s territorial integrity, its sovereignty, its independence.”

Even after meeting with NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) allies on Wednesday Blinken warned Russia. Blinken said that Russia would face “far-reaching and long-lasting consequences” for new aggression toward Ukraine. Reportedly, tensions over the Russian troop build-up along the border of Ukraine is the focus of Blinken’s trip.

Reportedly, Blinken will also meet on the sidelines of the annual two-day meeting of Foreign Ministers from the 57 OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) countries. The OSCE is the world’s largest regional security organization and gathers countries from North America, Europe, and Asia.

Russia Ukraine relation

The origins of the conflict lie in Russia’s long-standing aspiration to control Ukraine, which was embodied by Vladimir Putin after his ascent to power in 2000. Putin’s ambition was to hold Ukraine tight to Russia economically and politically. Russia conquered Crimea in February and March 2014. At that time, Ukraine was vulnerable to a temporary government and an unprepared military. Putin deployed 30,000 troops without insignia to seize control of the regional infrastructure.

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