Blinken in Athens to talk Ukraine, bilateral ties

Blinken in Athens to talk Ukraine, bilateral ties

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will be in Athens on February 20-22 to meet with the country’s leadership and launch the fourth round of the US-Greece Strategic Dialogue. The US official’s trip comes after a visit to Turkey, where he pressed NATO expansion.

In Athens, Blinken will meet with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras to discuss defense cooperation, energy security and the two countries’ “shared commitment to defend democracy,” according to a statement by State Department spokesperson Ned Price last Wednesday.

In their meeting, Mitsotakis will focus on Greek-Turkish relations and the excellent cooperation with the US, while Blinken is expected to insist on the need to continue supporting Ukraine. He will probably not, however, pressure Greece to provide more weapons systems to Kyiv beyond what has already been sent and is still being transferred (mainly ammunition) – at least at this stage.

Blinken will also discuss the updated Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA), which has allowed the US and NATO to support NATO’s eastern flank through the northern Greek port of Alexandroupoli by allowing the transfer of military personnel and weapons to Central and Eastern Europe. He will further focus on the sanctions against Russia and whether they are applied by Greece. 


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