Day 14 Has More Fighting After US Bans Russian Oil

Blinken Wraps Up Eastern European Tour in Estonia, France

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrapped up his European trip Tuesday.

Blinken began his day in Estonia, the final stop on his tour of the Baltics, where he met with Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets and Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.

Kallas said their discussion focused on “the sharply deteriorating security situation in Europe” and ways to support Ukraine, isolate Russia and “adapt to the new reality and make changes in our own defense.”

“Putin’s war against Ukraine is an act of military aggression against an independent and sovereign state that wants to fulfill its European dream,” she said. “The democratic world has stepped up against the war with speed, strength, and determination.

She said NATO needs to remain united and “prepared for the worst” that is still yet to come.

“Putin’s violence must be in correlation with the further sanctions and also isolation decisions,” she said. “We are in this for the long haul.”

Blinken thanked Estonia for providing humanitarian and military aide to Ukraine, joining European Union sanctions against Russia and welcoming more than 10,000 Ukrainian refugees. He also reiterated the US’s “ironclad” commitment to defend NATO allies.

He said it was important for the alliance to “build up” efforts to support Ukraine and hold Russia accountable for its continued aggression.

“We’re reminded today especially of how important it is that we have that [U.S. -Estonia] partnership, that we have the alliance that joins us, and that we have the extraordinary coordination and cooperation that we’ve experienced over the last month’s especially, and I think we’re both determined to see that continue, “he said.

Kallas said NATO’s eastern flank needs “everything” from its western allies, including troops and technology.

“Considering that we are a border country to a very aggressive Russia, we need to enhance our defense posture,” she said. “So far it has been deterrence posture, but we have to have a defense posture.”

Blinken also spoke with this Estonian counterpart about strengthening NATO’s eastern flank and imposing consequences on Russia is its aggressions against Ukraine continue. He then spoke at the US Embassy in Tallinn

“I leave Tallinn confident that US-Estonian relations are stronger than ever,” Blinken said in a tweet.

Blinken also spoke with her German counterpart Annalena Baerbock about their unified commitment to supporting Ukraine and imposing costs on Russia.

He then traveled to France to meet with President Emmanuel Macron.

“Here in Paris to continue to work in solidarity with our French Allies to counter the threats that Kremlin aggression poses to democracy and peace in Europe,” Blinken said in a tweet. “France’s leadership has been crucial to Europe’s unified, unprecedented response to Putin’s war of choice.”

Blinken and Macron talked about “the need for continued strong US-France cooperation in the face of the Russian government’s unprovoked war against Ukraine,” according to a readout from the State Department.

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