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Blinken stated that NATO's support for Ukraine is unwavering and there is no sign of exhaustion in their efforts.

Blinken affirmed that NATO remains dedicated to supporting Ukraine and shows no signs of tiring in their efforts.
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Blinken stated that NATO’s support for Ukraine is unwavering and there is no sign of exhaustion in their efforts. Blinken affirmed that NATO remains dedicated to supporting Ukraine and shows no signs of tiring in their efforts.

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that there is a strong consensus among both parties in the United States to support Ukraine. He also mentioned that NATO allies are not showing any signs of weariness as they continue to back the country during its second winter of conflict with Russia.

During a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday, Blinken stated that there is debate about whether the US and other NATO countries should continue to support Ukraine in the face of Putin’s aggression in the second winter. However, the answer from NATO is resolute – we must and will stand by Ukraine.

According to Blinken, in the years since the war started, the US has given approximately $77 billion to Ukraine in the form of humanitarian, financial, and military aid. He also mentioned that European allies of Washington have given more than $110 billion to assist Kyiv.

When asked about potential changes in politics due to the upcoming U.S. presidential election in November 2024, Blinken stated that there was no sign of fatigue or regression. Instead, there was a strong determination to keep moving forward.

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Yesterday, a high-ranking official from the State Department stated that it is commonly believed that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not pursue a significant peace agreement until after the 2024 U.S. presidential election.

‘Ultimate membership’

During the initial meeting between NATO and Ukraine’s foreign ministers on Wednesday, the topic of Ukraine’s potential membership in NATO was addressed. Additionally, Blinken also held discussions with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba separately.

The leading American diplomat stated that the allies have once again confirmed their stance that “Ukraine’s membership in NATO will only be granted when all allies are in agreement and when certain conditions are fulfilled.”

Kuleba announced that NATO Allies have responded positively to Ukraine’s request for an increase in the production of weapons and ammunition.

The Ukrainian top diplomat expressed confidence that this meeting will result in concrete steps and measures to implement our political determination in the defense industries sector.

During a distinct press briefing, NATO’s Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, stated that the member country had proposed suggestions for Ukraine’s reforms.

Stoltenberg, at NATO headquarters, stated that Ukraine is now closer to becoming a member of NATO than ever before. He also expressed continued support for Ukraine’s pursuit of membership and their fight for freedom.

From July 9 to 11, 2024, Washington will be the location of the upcoming NATO summit hosted by the United States. Blinken met with his counterparts to discuss the meeting’s priorities, coinciding with the alliance’s 75th anniversary in the following year.

A high-ranking American official informed journalists that a considerable portion of the talks preceding the Washington summit would focus on ensuring that Ukraine is making adequate advancements towards becoming a member of NATO when the appropriate conditions are met.

The member states of the bloc have proposed a series of governance changes to Ukraine, which includes enhancing anti-corruption agencies and authorities.

The NATO-Ukraine Council was established at the NATO Summit in Vilnius on July 12, with the presence of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other leaders of member governments.

The meeting was held for the second time in late July to address security concerns in the Black Sea, after Russia’s withdrawal from a deal regulating grain exports from Ukrainian ports.

The October meeting was focused on discussing significant support for Ukraine and ensuring that Ukraine’s military is able to work seamlessly with NATO.

The NATO-Ukraine Council serves as a collaborative entity, where both allies and Ukraine have equal representation in order to promote political discussions.

North Macedonia

On Wednesday afternoon, Blinken headed the American delegation to North Macedonia, a member of NATO. The country is hosting a two-day conference for foreign ministers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in its capital city, Skopje.

Blinken expressed his support for OSCE’s efforts to improve European security, despite Russia’s blatant disregard for the organization’s regulations.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg gives a press conference as part of the NATO foreign ministers meeting on Ukraine at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Nov. 29, 2023.

On November 29, 2023, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg held a press conference at the organization’s headquarters in Brussels during a meeting of foreign ministers to discuss Ukraine.

Blinken met with Bujar Osmani, the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, before departing for the Middle East later in the evening.

Osmani criticized Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine, claiming that it has endangered the regional security organization, of which North Macedonia is currently in charge.

He stressed that in such circumstances, no business could continue as normal. In the OSCE foreign ministers’ meetings this week, the main focus will be on Ukraine, transforming the security organization into a means of holding the Russian Federation accountable for its actions in Ukraine.

Earlier this week, Bulgaria granted approval for Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s aircraft to fly over its airspace on the way to Skopje, in response to a request from North Macedonia. This allowed Lavrov to participate in the OSCE ministerial meetings.

The presence of Lavrov at the gathering caused a swift protest from Ukraine and the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. These nations have decided to boycott the event because of Lavrov’s participation.

Lavrov was not present in Skopje at the time of the group photo taken by foreign ministers from OSCE member countries. Furthermore, Russia was not represented at the OSCE working dinner held on Wednesday evening.

Following his visit to Skopje, Blinken is embarking on his third journey to the Middle East since the recent attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7. The United States is actively working towards extending the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in order to facilitate the delivery of essential humanitarian assistance to Gaza and secure the release of additional hostages.