US Secretary of State Blinken makes unannounced trip to Ukraine

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unannounced trip to Ukraine Thursday – his third visit to the country since Russia invaded more than six months ago.

The top US diplomat will meet with Ukrainian officials.

His trip comes as Ukraine has launched a counteroffensive aimed at reclaiming Russian occupied areas in the south of the country. It is also coincides with a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, hosted by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

Both Austin and Blinken visited Ukraine in late April. They still remain the highest level US officials to have traveled to the country since the war began in late February. Multiple heads of state have gone to Ukraine to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky. US President Joe Biden has yet to travel there, though the two leaders spoke by phone in recent weeks.

Also on Thursday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov met his US counterpart Austin and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley at the Ramstein base.

“Started the day with a meeting with great friends of Ukraine Lloyd Austin III @SecDef and Gen. Mark Milley @thejointstaff,” Reznikov tweeted. “We appreciate the US staunch support of Ukraine.”

“Look forward to launching #Ramstein 5 Meeting with 50+ participants,” he added.

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