Blinken due in Brussels for NATO, G7 ministerial

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At the Ministerial, Blinken will have the opportunity to highlight NATO’s essential role in preserving Transatlantic security…reports Asian Lite News

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Belgium from April 5 to 7 to attend the NATO Foreign Ministerial.

“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will travel to Brussels, Belgium, from April 5 to 7, 2022, to attend the NATO Foreign Ministerial,” US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.

At the Ministerial, Blinken will have the opportunity to highlight NATO’s essential role in preserving Transatlantic security, including our joint efforts to hold President Putin accountable and promote a swift end to his senseless and destructive war of choice against Ukraine, read the statement.

Russia began a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24 after the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics requested help in defending themselves. What followed the military operation was a slew of sanctions imposed by the western countries targeting the Russian economy.

US Secretary of State will discuss continued Allied efforts to provide support for Ukraine.

He will also join a G7 ministerial meeting and hold additional discussions with other Allies and partners, the statement added.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses for a family photograph with world leaders as he attends a special meeting of the North Atlantic Council and a G7 leaders meeting at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels during the Ukraine situation. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

Russian sanctions on agenda

The European Union is mulling additional sanctions against Russia and relevant proposals will be discussed on Wednesday, The Financial Times reported.

“Further EU sanctions & support are on their way,” President of the European Council Charles Michel said on Twitter on Sunday, drawing attention to the events in Bucha.

The Financial Times said on Sunday, citing a diplomat with knowledge of the plans, that EU ambassadors are expected to discuss a fresh round of anti-Russia sanctions on Wednesday.

The new restrictions could target individuals, but could also include a ban on Russian ships using EU ports. Export and energy supply restrictions are also possible, The Financial Times said.

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Sunday that Western countries could introduce french sanctions against Russia over the Bucha incident.

The Kiev authorities and the media have been spreading video footage, allegedly from the Ukrainian town of Bucha near Kiev, with the bodies of allegedly dead people lying along the road. The Russian Defense Ministry said that all photos and videos allegedly evidencing the Russian troops’ crimes in Bucha are yet another provocation since Russian units completely withdrew from the town as early as March 30.

Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said in an interview with Newsweek that the US is deliberately hushing up the fact that after the withdrawal of Russian troops, Ukrainian forces subjected the city of Bucha to artillery fire, which could have led to losses among the civilian population. According to Antonov, the Kiev authorities are shifting the blame on Russia in what concerns Bucha, where not a single civilian was injured while the town was under the control of the Russian forces.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday that the crimes committed by Ukrainian radicals in Bucha are meant to escalate violence and disrupt the Russia-Ukraine peace negotiations.

The West scaled up military assistance to Kiev, as well as anti-Russia sanctions, after Moscow launched a special military operation in Ukraine in the early hours of February 24. The move came after the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) appealed for help in defending themselves against the Kiev forces. Russia said that the aim of its special operation is to demilitarize and “denazify” Ukraine and that only military infrastructure is being targeted. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the goal is to protect the people of Donbas, “who have been subjected to abuse, genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years.” (ANI/Sputnik)

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