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Reuters: Blinken Heads To Moldova As Tensions With Russia Build

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Reuters: Blinken Heads To Moldova As Tensions With Russia Build

The US Secretary of State will also visit Prague.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken flies to the Moldovan capital Chisinau on Wednesday, the first stop on a brief Europe tour aimed at solidifying Western support for Ukraine across NATO allies and neighbouring countries, writes Reuters.

“The top US diplomat's trip comes as Ukraine is trying to fend off intensifying Russian attacks in the east and President Vladimir Putin warns that allowing Kyiv, opens new tab to use Western weapons to strike inside Russia could trigger a global conflict,” the publication notes.

Also, in the framework of the visit, Blinken will meet pro-European President Maia Sandu and other senior officials at a time when US officials say Moldova, which has a long border with Ukraine, faces Russian “influence operations”.

Jim O'Brien, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe at the State Department, told reporters on Friday that the United States would likely announce a “robust package” of support for Moldova's energy independence, without elaborating.

O'Brien added that Washington has not seen a direct military threat from Russia toward Moldova's breakaway region of Transdniestria.

Later in the week, Blinken will travel to Prague to attend an informal gathering of NATO foreign ministers, which will focus on advancing preparations ahead of a July leaders summit of the alliance in Washington.

“We do not anticipate that there'll be an invitation for Ukraine to join NATO, but we think there will be a substantial show of support for Ukraine as it works to win its war. This will include ongoing NATO support in building Ukraine's future force and efforts to help Ukraine as it makes the reforms needed so that it's able to join the EU and run across the bridge to NATO as quickly as it's able,” O'Brien stressed.

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