Blinken meets with officials in Poland amid Russia-Ukraine war

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited the eastern Poland on Saturday, where the NATO country shares a border with Ukraine to discuss the ongoing war between the former Soviet state and Russia.

Blinken's itinerary indicated that the secretary would visit Poland during a visit to Europe through March 8, in addition to scheduled trips remaining for Lithuania, Estonia, Moldova and Latvia.

Saturday Blinken met with Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau to thank the country's leaders for accepting hundreds of thousands of refugees from Ukraine and discuss how the U.S. can further support relief programs.

Blinken also visited the Polish city Rzeszow on Saturday where an airport is located, about 50 miles from the Ukraine border. The city has become a hub for flights carrying humanitarian aid, according to The Associated Press.

The U.S.'s top diplomat also met with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, and they discussed sending more U.S. troops to Poland to fortify NATO's eastern flank. More than 10,000 American boots are already on the ground in the area.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has battered the country and created a humanitarian crisis with more than a million refugees fleeing into neighboring European countries.

Russian forces captured the city of Kherson this week and have continued to shell other parts of Ukraine, including the coastal city Mariupol, where power, food and water was cut off for residents.

The U.S. and western allies have slapped numerous sanctions on Russia, and Blinken discussed more sanctions and measures to punish the country with Polish leaders, the AP noted.