US Secretary of State Antony Blinken goes on an unannounced trip to Ukraine

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Blinken met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Kiev.

His trip comes as Ukraine has launched a counteroffensive aimed at recapturing Russian-held areas in the south and northeast of the country. It also coincides with a meeting of Ukraine’s Defense Contact Group, organized by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

Both Austin and Blinken visited Ukraine at the end of April. They remain the highest level of US officials to travel to the country since the war began in late February. Several heads of state have gone to Ukraine to meet with its president Volodymyr Zelensky. US President Joe Biden has not yet traveled there, although the two leaders spoke by phone in recent weeks.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Blinken also traveled briefly into Ukraine when he met at the border with Kuleba in March.

The Biden administration has pledged ongoing support to Ukraine and has committed more than $13 billion in security assistance since the conflict began. Austin announced a new $675 million tranche Thursday. In addition, Blinken is expected to announce on Thursday that the United States intends to provide $2 billion to strengthen security in Ukraine and 18 other regional countries.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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