Blinken will participate in the NATO Foreign Ministerial, engage with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, hold talks with the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmes.
“The meetings in Brussels reaffirm the United States’ commitment to our Allies and European partners on our shared agenda,” the State Department said.
According to the statement, Blinken sees the NATO ministerial and bilateral meetings as an opportunity to discuss the NATO 2030 proposals for alliance adaptation, concerns over China and Russia, as well as climate change, cyber security, combatting terrorism, energy security, and other common challenges.
“I think there will be clearly a discussion about Russia at the NATO ministerial and in the margins. We will engage with our allies to discuss different views of Russia and how we can engage with Russia in ways that obviously advance our collective interest but remain very clear-eyed about the challenges that Russia poses,” Acting Assistant Secretary of State Philip Reeker told reporters.
He reiterated that US seeks “predictable and stable” relations with Russia, but won’t shy away for “adversarial elements.” “We expect even as you see in recent days our relationship with Russia to remain a challenge. Clearly NATO is very aware of it. And it is one, I think, we are prepared for,” Reeker said.
Blinken plans to discuss with the EU leadership “transatlantic goals to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, pursue a sustainable global economic recovery, tackle the climate crisis, and strengthen democracy.” Bilateral relations and “issues of global importance” will be on the agenda of Blinken’s meetings with Wilmès, his Belgian counterpart, the State Department said.