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Blinken traveling to Ukraine riding US propaganda campaign vs Russia

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Ukraine on Wednesday to meet with the country’s president and foreign minister amid American claims that Russia is preparing to invade the neighboring country. Moscow has rejected the accusations.

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement on Tuesday that Blinken will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba “to reinforce the United States’ commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The spokesperson added that Blinken will also discuss "the Department’s efforts to plan for contingencies" with the American Embassy’s staff and their families.

The US secretary of state will later travel to Germany to meet with Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and attend a meeting with the Transatlantic QUAD, which includes the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

The State Department spokesperson said that the purpose of the QUAD meeting in Germany is “to discuss recent diplomatic engagements with Russia and joint efforts to deter further Russian aggression against Ukraine, including Allies’ and partners’ readiness to impose massive consequences and severe economic costs on Russia.”

“The Secretary’s travel and consultations are part of the diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the tension caused by Russia’s military build-up and continued aggression against Ukraine,” Price added.

Blinken to meet with Lavrov in Geneva on Friday

Blinken will also meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva on Friday.

Price said that the meeting was scheduled after Blinken and Lavrov spoke by phone on Tuesday.

He elaborated that the engagement in Geneva was added to the end of the secretary’s previously scheduled travel to Kyiv on Wednesday and Berlin on Thursday.

In a statement following a call between Bliknen and Lavrov on Tuesday, Price said Blinken stressed the "unshakable US commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

Blinken also "stressed the importance of continuing a diplomatic path to de-escalate tensions surrounding the deeply troubling Russian military buildup in and near Ukraine," Price said.

He added that Blinken told Lavrov that "any discussion of European security must include NATO Allies and European partners, including Ukraine."

This comes as a number of US war hawks earlier this week also announced they were traveling to Ukraine to meet with Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials.

Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) announced their trip on Monday.

Commenting to Press TV, American journalist Don DeBar said, “This is a freaking war party. Senator Shaheen, for example, at a hearing for the US intelligence propaganda outlets under the Broadcast Board of Governors, called Russian news services ‘agencies of propaganda’ and said their presence in the US market was ‘an act of war, with a body count.’”

“If Donald Trump's presidency set the standard to allow observers to issue remote diagnoses of mental illness, Shaheen is, to use the appropriate clinical term, a genocidal maniac,” he added.

“Or, in plain English, she is out of her freakin' mind, seemingly obsessed with making war with Russia. And she is the sanest of that delegation,” the analyst noted.

The US senators said they would hold discussions “to reaffirm the US’ commitment to Ukraine, which continues to face an increasingly belligerent Russia.”

The development comes as US intelligence agencies have accused Russia of preparing a false-flag operation to invade Ukraine.

US officials told the media on Friday that American intelligence findings point to Russia laying the groundwork for fabricating a pretext for invasion by blaming Ukraine for preparing an “imminent attack” against Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, a charge Moscow denies.

“The Russian military plans to begin these activities several weeks before a military invasion, which could begin between mid-January and mid-February,” one official told The Hill. “We saw this playbook in 2014 with Crimea.”

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