RPT - PREVIEW - NATO Response To Ukraine Crisis, US-EU Trade In Focus As Blinken Visits Europe

RPT - PREVIEW - NATO Response to Ukraine Crisis, US-EU Trade in Focus as Blinken Visits Europe

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th May, 2022) US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Berlin and Paris from May 14-16 for meetings with NATO allies and trade talks with the EU, during which the issue of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine is likely to be featured prominently.

Blinken will first travel to Berlin, where on May 14 he will meet informally with NATO foreign ministers to discuss a unified response to the situation in Ukraine. The leaders will also discuss revisions to NATO's strategic concept.

Finland and Sweden, who have recently expressed interest in joining the alliance, will also attend the informal meetings.

US Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith will represent the United States during the opening session on Saturday, and Blinken will lead the US delegation during meetings on Sunday, Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried said on Friday.

Blinken will then travel to Paris on May 15 for a meeting of the US-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC), where he will be joined by US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

The delegation will meet with EU leaders on how democratic approaches to trade and technology can serve as a force for greater prosperity while also protecting advancing shared values. Blinken will also meet with representatives of business, labor and civil society to hear their views on the TTC's work.

US engagement with NATO and EU allies has increased significantly in recent months amid Russia's special operation in Ukraine. NATO is scheduled to hold a high-level summit in Madrid in June, with a US-EU summit likely to be held shortly afterward.