Blinken Shifts Focus to Ukraine in UK Visit

U.S. Secretary Antony Blinken traveled Tuesday to London where he is due to meet with his British and Ukrainian counterparts ahead of a conference focused on fostering international support for helping Ukraine recover from the effects of a Russian invasion. 

Britain and Ukraine are co-hosting the conference taking place Wednesday and Thursday. 

Blinken and British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly are scheduled to take part in an event for World Refugee Day at a center set up to help Ukrainians who fled the war get the advice and support they need to adapt to life in Britain. 

After bilateral talks with Cleverly, Blinken is also due to hold talks later Tuesday with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. 

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke by telephone Monday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ahead of the Ukraine Recovery Conference. 

“It was a unique opportunity to underline the strong public and private sector support for Ukraine, and demonstrate the country’s transformation and ongoing reform, the leaders agreed,” Sunak’s office said in a statement. 

Britain is the second-largest donor of military aid to Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022, trailing only the United States. 

Zelenskyy said he expects the conference will consolidate various recovery efforts, and that the recovery “should demonstrate to the world that freedom is invincible.” 

Zelenskyy, in his nightly address Monday, also praised Britain for new legislation that would allow redirecting Russian funds frozen under sanctions to help pay for Ukraine’s rebuilding. 

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