At NATO headquarters on Friday, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg referred to the attack on the nuclear plant, saying it “only shows the recklessness of this war and the importance of ending it.”
Stoltenberg stressed that NATO is not a party to the Ukraine conflict. But members will discuss ongoing efforts to bolster the alliance’s eastern flank, as well as the long-term strategic implications of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offensive.
“We are not seeking war or conflict with Russia,” he said. “At the same time, we need to make sure that there is no misunderstanding about our commitment to defend and protect our allies.”
Blinken, who was speaking alongside Stoltenberg, said NATO had met to bolster member states’ security as the Russian operation began. “Every ally in one way or another comes to the aid of Ukraine,” he said. “Every ally in one way or another helps strengthen NATO itself.”
After the NATO discussions, Blinken will meet with senior EU officials and attend the bloc’s Foreign Affairs Council meeting alongside his counterparts from Canada and Britain. The Ukrainian Foreign Minister will also summon the visit.
In the week following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Europe and its allies banded together and hit the Kremlin with an unprecedented package of sanctions and other measures aimed at isolating Russia.
European diplomats are still considering further action. There is an ongoing conversation about reducing Europe’s dependence on Russian oil and gas – a move that could seriously hurt Europe given the region’s dependence on Russian supplies. The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said on Friday that Europe and its allies “will take into account everything,” including energy.
A week ago I told you that everything is on the table. And I saw that everything was on the table, because some action was taken that no one expected,” he said. “So, everything remains on the table.”
The EU has also promised to supply and finance Ukraine with weapons – a first for the bloc – but so far has provided few details.
From Brussels, the top US diplomat is traveling to Moldova, Poland and the Baltic states to express US support for countries close to the Russian military.