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Ukrainian Prez, Blinken discuss security situation


Author : Indo Asian News Service

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Kiev, May 7 (IANS) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky discussed the ongoing security situation in the country's borders along Russia with visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Kiev, according to an official statement.

During the talks on Thursday, Zelensky said that Blinken's visit is a signal to Europe and Russia of Washington's support for Kiev in the wake of the massive military build-up by Moscow in recent weeks along the border, Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying

Zelensky informed Blinken that currently Ukraine's conflict-hit region of Donbas is witnessing a decrease in sniper fire and the number of casualties, while the tensions on the Ukrainian-Russian borders have eased after the partial withdrawal of Russian troops.

During the conversation, Zelensky voiced his government's commitment to bring sustainable peace to Ukraine.

"The issue of ending the war for Ukraine is a priority, and a priority for each of us," Zelensky was quoted as saying by his press service.

For his part, Blinken said that Washington supports Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence and stands ready to continue its assistance for Kiev.

"We are actively considering the possibility of increasing cooperation and assistance to Ukraine in terms of security," Blinken said.

The Secretary of State praised the progress Ukraine has made on its reform path, urging continued efforts to deepen the land market, judiciary system and anti-corruption reforms.

At the talks, Zelensky invited US President Joe Biden to visit Ukraine.

According to the Ukrainian media, Blinken arrived in Kiev earlier in the day for a working visit.

During his trip, Blinken also held talks with Prime Minister Denys Shmygal, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, and other officials.

The visit comes in the aftermath of a massive military buil-dup by Russia in recent weeks along its border with Ukraine.

The US and its NATO allies expressed concerns about the movements of Russian troops, while Moscow said the maneuvers were purely defensive.

The ongoing conflict in Donbas, which began in April 2014, has claimed some 14,000 lives and left as many as 40,000 wounded.

Kiev has repeatedly blamed Moscow for inciting the conflict.

Russia, however, has denied the charges, saying the accusations are groundless.



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