Ukraine war: US offers ‘enduring’ support as Antony Blinken ‘connects’ with Dmytro Kuleba | World | News
The discussion comes after a letter was sent to the White House by a number of members of Congress warning President Joe Biden that he may have to alter his Ukraine strategy and “directly engage” with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Mr Blinken tweeted: “Connected with Dmytro Kuleba again today.”It is important to once again emphasize that US support for Ukraine is concrete, comprehensive, and enduring.”Meanwhile, Mr Kuleba tweeted: “Detailed and candid discussion with Secretary Blinken on ways to end Russia’s nuclear blackmail.“Grateful for affirming the unfaltering US support whatever circumstances are.“Euro-Atlantic solidarity with Ukraine is essential. We also focused on deliveries of air defence and ammo.” The comments from the United States follow a rather turbulent weekend which saw Moscow escalate tensions with Kyiv and its allies after it claimed on a phone call to UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace that Ukraine may use a “dirty bomb”.The explosive device, which allegedly contains radioactive material would be seen as justification for Putin to act in kind, increasing fears of Russia’s use of nuclear weapons.Despite the ever-increasing tensions, communication channels between NATO countries and Russia appeared to be open over the weekend after Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu held his second phone call with his US counterpart in three days.Shoigu spoke with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on Sunday and made a barrage of phone calls with three other defence ministers from NATO countries.READ MORE: Mystery of more than 50 ‘sightings’ of ghostly British brideIn response to “Russia’s nuclear blackmail”, the United States said it “rejected any pretext for Russian escalation” as it dismissed the unsubstantiated claims of a dirty bomb.It was also revealed that a letter was sent to the White House on Monday by 30 House Democrats in which Mr Biden was urged to “directly engage” with President Putin.The letter warned that the expenditure of supporting Ukraine through the conflict was costing the US taxpayer “tens of billions” of dollars and that Washington must “seriously explore all possible avenues, including direct engagement with Russia”.The suggestions included opening communication and also trying “to reduce harm and support Ukraine in achieving a peaceful settlement”.DON’T MISS:Easy way to make lettuce last for 4 weeks – crunchy and green! (REVEAL)Gaffe-prone Biden slips up in birthday message to ‘President’ Harris (INSIGHT)Joe Biden looking forward to speaking with Rishi Sunak in days (REVEAL)It also suggested using incentives which would work to end hostilities, such as sanctions relief, in what would be a significant shift in approach from the Biden administration.The comments in the letter were gratefully received by the White House but National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby was quick to make it clear that the alliance between Ukraine and the US remains strong.Kirby clarified that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has the choice as to when to engage Putin.He added that the US is “going to stay focused on making sure that he and his troops can succeed on the battlefield so that if and when it comes time to sit down at the table, Mr Zelensky can succeed”.