US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Kiev for talks with the Ukrainian leadership as fears increase of an imminent Russian invasion. Blinken will then travel to Berlin where he is expected to meet with German, French and British counterparts. On Friday, the US Secretary of State is expected to meet in Geneva with Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov.
A US State department spokesperson said that "the trip follows extensive diplomacy with our European Allies and partners about a united approach to address the threat Russia poses to Ukraine and our joint efforts to encourage it to choose diplomacy and de-escalation in the interests of security and stability." The statement added that "the Secretary’s travel and consultations are part of the diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the tension caused by Russia’s military build-up and continued aggression against Ukraine."
In Brussels, European Union officials are bracing themselves for the biggest crisis on the European continent since the war in Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. Efforts are ongoing to unite the European position so that the response to Moscow in case of an invasion will be swift and significant. There are still some hopes that Russia will de-escalate the situation, but most observers think this is now unlikely and that some sort of aggression - even if not an all-out invasion - is imminent.
photo: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken