US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken arrived in Ukraine shortly before midnight on Wednesday, Thursday, to provide support to Kiev in its confrontation with Moscow in light of the tensions that have been camping for several weeks, and to demand that this country make efforts in the fight against corruption.
Blinken is the first senior US official in President Joe Biden’s administration to visit Ukraine, where he will meet Thursday President Volodymyr Zelensky and other senior officials, as well as anti-corruption and reform activists.
His advisor for European affairs, Philip Reeker, said Friday that Blinken’s visit aims to “affirm the firm support of the United States for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s aggression.”
The former Ukrainian ambassador, Kostyantin Yalisiev, founder of the “New Solutions” Center for Studies, said that the visit “is a very strong indication of support for Ukraine.”
The visit comes less than two weeks after a new escalation of tension between Russia and Ukraine since the arrival of a pro-Western authority to power in Kiev and Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Over a period of weeks in April, Russia deployed tens of thousands of soldiers on the northern and eastern borders of Ukraine and in the Crimea, officially announcing the conduct of “military exercises”, which raised fears in Kiev and the West about the possibility of a Russian invasion.
The Russian troop build-up coincided with an escalation in violence in eastern Ukraine, where Kiev has faced since 2014 pro-Russian separatists backed by Moscow.
After the escalation of my words and threats, Moscow finally announced on April 23 the withdrawal of its forces, which caused relief despite the assertion of Ukraine, the United States and NATO, which Kiev aspires to join, of the necessity of “vigilance.”