WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Tuesday to discuss Ukraine’s security needs in its conflict with Russia, the U.S. State Department said.
They also discussed ongoing diplomatic efforts to stop the war that began with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, according to the State Department.
The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on Russian military leaders and people it accused of being connected to human rights violations while imposing fresh measures on Moscow’s close ally Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.
Kuleba tweeted after his call with Blinken that he welcomed the new round of personal sanctions against Russian officials but added that there was need “to step up economic pressure on Russia.”
The State Department also said that Kuleba and Blinken discussed concern about damage to infrastructure and buildings and the resulting civilian deaths and injuries from the Russian invasion, which Moscow calls a “special operation.”
“We both agreed it is important to ensure safety and security of nuclear facilities in Ukraine”, Kuleba added in his tweet.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Simon Lewis; writing by Kanishka Singh; Editing by Chris Reese and Alistair Bell)