Blinken discusses the war in Ukraine and the Iranian nuclear deal with his German and British counterparts in Berlin

On Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken engaged in in-depth joint talks with his German, French and British counterparts on a range of current issues, including Russia’s war in Ukraine and stalled Iran nuclear deal negotiations. On the sidelines of the informal summit of NATO foreign ministers in Berlin, Blinken met with German FM Annalena Baerbock, British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss and French Director General for Political and Security Affairs Phillippe Errera. Leaders stressed the need for a continued response by allies and partners against the brutal Russian war. They also deliberated on joint efforts to reach agreement on “the mutual return to full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” the US State Department said in a statement.

Separately, Blinken also met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. The US Secretary of State confirmed Washington’s “firm and enduring” recognition of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Senior diplomats considered what security and economic assistance kyiv deemed necessary “to defend itself against Russia’s unprovoked war,” US spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

Blinken says Allies will maintain security aid to Ukraine

The US Secretary of State confirmed on Sunday the imposition of anti-Russian sanctions “as long as necessary”. Speaking at a press briefing after the informal meeting between senior diplomats from members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Blinken stressed that the 30 NATO allies were determined to support a “democratic, independent and sovereign” Ukraine. He also hailed the “strength and resilience” of the Ukrainian people in the three-month war.

“All members of the Alliance want to end this war as soon as possible, but we are also determined to maintain our security assistance to Ukraine, to continue our sanctions, our export controls and our diplomatic pressure in Russia for as long as necessary,” the US Secretary of State was quoted as saying in the official press release.

Blinken further stressed that the United States and its partners also agree to give Ukraine “as strong a purse as possible on the battlefield and at any negotiating table” in order to defend against Russian aggression. He also criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for waging the “brutal and unprovoked” war aimed at “eliminating” Ukraine. However, he added, the invasion only “strengthened and unified” kyiv more than ever.

The meeting was virtually addressed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who is suffering from COVID-19. He hailed Finland’s and Sweden’s decision to apply for NATO membership, calling it a “historic” decision. The summit ended with NATO members pledging to support Ukraine and defend the territories against the long-term implications of the Russian war.

(Picture: AP)

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