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Blinken to discuss support for Ukraine with leaders of Austria

Blinken to discuss support for Ukraine with leaders of Austria US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (photo: Getty Images)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet with Austrian Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg. During the talks, the leaders will discuss, among other things, humanitarian aid to Ukraine, according to the Austria Presse Agentur (APA).

The negotiations will take place on Friday, March 15, at the Federal Chancellery. Following the talks, there will be a press conference with Schallenberg. US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller noted that the US and Austria cooperate on issues such as humanitarian aid to Ukraine and the enforcement of EU economic sanctions against Russia.

It is also expected that Blinken and Schallenberg will emphasize their consensus on international issues. For example, both countries are among the strongest supporters of Israel in the Middle East conflict.

Washington and Vienna are also moving in the same direction regarding Russian aggression in Ukraine, although Austria does not want to provide military support to Kyiv due to its neutral status under international law.

Additionally, in Vienna, Blinken will participate in an international conference on combating drug trafficking.

Aid from the US to Ukraine

Last week, Blinken met in Washington with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan. Among the topics discussed was the war between Ukraine and Russia.

Earlier, Blinken met in Munich with the Minister of Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba. The sides discussed further support for Ukraine from the US.

Adding to this, after the failure of the vote on Joe Biden's $106 billion bill to aid Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan, a new $96 billion bill was drafted in early February of this year, excluding measures for protecting the southern border of the US with Mexico. It includes over $60 billion for Ukraine.

On February 13, the Senate approved this bill. However, House Speaker Mike Johnson refuses to bring the bill to a vote.

Instead, Johnson has begun discussing a compromise version of the bill with lawmakers. In this version, Ukraine is proposed to receive significantly less funding: $47.69 billion compared to the initially stated $60.06 billion.

The White House prefers the bill to aid Ukraine, which was previously supported by the Senate.