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U.S. may strengthen Ukraine security aid: Blinken

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The U.S. government says that it may increase the amount of security assistance that it offers to Ukraine, in light of the two countries' continued problems with Russia.

Moscow's decision to pull back some of its forces from the Ukraine border last month helped end a standoff that made alarm bells ring in Western capitals, and set the stage for an expected summit between Presidents Biden and Putin.

But speaking alongside Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv on Thursday, (May 6) Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Russia remains poised to take what he called, "aggressive action" on "short notice."

"We are aware that Russia has withdrawn some forces from the border of Ukraine, but we also see that significant forces remain there, significant equipment remains there. We are monitoring the situation very-very closely."

President Zelenskiy said he's impressed by the Biden administration's awareness of the situation, and asked for NATO to strengthen its presence in the region.

Blinken didn't specify what form an increase in aid to could take, but last week Ukraine's foreign minister said that it was asking for air defense systems and technology that can counter snipers.

The military standoff last month prompted Zelenskiy's government to lobby the United States and Europe to speed up Ukraine's possible admittance into the NATO alliance.

Ukraine says 14,000 people have died over seven years of fighting with separatists, who are backed by Russia.

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