U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken affirmed “unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea” in a call with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, the State Department has said.
Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley also spoke to top Russian and Ukrainian generals about a reported buildup of Russian troops along Ukraine’s border and in Crimea. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has also spoken with his Ukrainian counterpart this week.
The U.S. and Ukraine see the deaths of four Ukrainian soldiers last week as Moscow violating a July 2020 ceasefire. Russia, on its part, has blamed its neighbour for renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said it fears Kyiv’s government forces could do something to restart a conflict with pro-Russian separatists. U.S. troops in Europe are on an elevated “watch condition”.