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U.S., EU Top Diplomats Vow To Cooperate On Russia's 'Challenging' Behavior


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) with European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell ahead of meetings in Brussels on March 24

The U.S. and EU top diplomats say they have agreed to coordinate their response to Moscow’s “challenging” behavior such as its “ongoing aggression” against Ukraine and Georgia, as well as the “dwindling respect” in Russia for human rights and the rule of law.

In a joint statement issued on March 24 following talks in Brussels, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the EU high representative for foreign affairs, Josep Borrell, said they were determined to address, in a coordinated manner, Russia's “hybrid threats, such as disinformation; interference in electoral processes; malicious cyber activities; and military posturing.”

The two also “decided to coordinate their response to the shrinking space in Russia for independent political voices, civil society, and media freedom.”

Blinken and Borrell agreed to relaunch a bilateral dialogue on China, acknowledging that relations with Beijing comprise “elements of cooperation, competition, and systemic rivalry."

Among other issues the two officials discussed were Iran’s nuclear program, reforms across the Western Balkans region, the global climate crisis, and the coronavirus pandemic.

Blinken was in the Belgian capital to attend a two-day NATO foreign ministers’ meeting and hold talks with EU leaders as part of U.S. President Joe Biden's efforts to repair transatlantic ties after his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, pursued an "America first" policy that tended to treat traditional allies more as rivals than partners.

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