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Blinken To Address Russia’s Strategic Failure From Helsinki Next Week

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will next week visit the newest NATO member Finland where he will deliver a major speech highlighting Russia's strategic failure in its war against Ukraine, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports. Blinken will stop by Helsinki following talks with his fellow NATO foreign ministers in Oslo. He will also stop by Sweden first. In Helsinki next Friday, Blinken is expected to deliver a speech "to highlight all the ways in which Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has been a strategic failure, and our continued efforts to support Ukraine’s defense of its territory, sovereignty, and democracy in pursuit of a just and durable peace," Dereck Hogan, the top State Department official for Europe, told TURAN's correspondent in a call with reporters previewing Blinken’s travel. "... Of course, the backdrop is perfectly suitable given that Finland is our newest NATO Ally," he added when asked about the venue. Overall, Blinken's trip to Sweden, Norway, and Finland from May 29 to June 2 is meant to deepen transatlantic cooperation on top national security and economic priorities. During informal NATO ministerial in Oslo, which will prepare for the upcoming Vilnius summit, Blinken is expected to push Turkey and Hungary to ratify Sweden’s accession to NATO. “We have had extensive conversations with the Turkish Government about - allies, including ours, a clear conviction that Sweden is ready for membership now,” Hogan told reporters. “And so of course we have the second round of the elections in Turkey, this coming Sunday. So we’ll see how they will go. But clearly, this will be an ongoing part of our discussions, of our engagements with the new Turkish government,” Hogan continued. “So we do very much look forward to seeing both Turkey, as well as Hungary, ratify Sweden’s accession protocols, very soon, prior to the summit in Vilnius.” Some NATO members are seeking formal commitments to Ukraine at the summit, even if a formal offer to join looks distant. When pressed by TURAN's correspondent about Ukraine's NATO accession scenarios, Hogan was in no rush to make any promises to Kyiv. "We very much support Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations," he said, "but we continue to remain focused with the Ukrainians on the practical support they need to preserve and defend their territorial integrity, their sovereignty, their democracy. So that’s what we’re focusing on." He went on to add, "Of course, NATO has an important role to play on Ukraine, so over the next few months Allies will be meeting, including, as I mentioned earlier, in Oslo next week, to discuss the scope of its support package for Ukraine. And so we look forward to those conversations." Hogan also said Blinken would seek "progress on the key deliverables" for Ukraine at the Vilnius summit.

Source: Turan News Agency