Tag Archives: State Department

US Offers Prisoner Swap For Griner And Paul Whelan

The Guardian reports: The Biden administration has offered a deal to Russia aimed at bringing home WNBA star Brittney Griner and another jailed American, ex-US marine Paul Whelan, the secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said on Wednesday. In a sharp reversal of previous policy, Blinken also said he expects to speak with his Kremlin counterpart for the first time since …

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US Offers $10M Reward For Info On Election Meddling

Politico reports: The State Department is offering up to $10 million to those who provide information on foreign interference in U.S. elections, officials announced on Thursday. The Rewards for Justice program aims to gather information that leads to the identification or location of any foreign person or entity “who knowingly engaged or is engaging in foreign election interference,” department officials …

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US Lifts Trump-Era Restrictions On Flights To Cuba

Reuters reports: The administration of President Joe Biden on Wednesday revoked a series of restrictions on flights to Cuba imposed by his predecessor, including ending a prohibition on U.S. airline flights to Cuban airports other than Havana. The U.S. Transportation Department (USDOT) issued the order at the request of Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who said the action was “in …

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State Department Reopens US Embassy In Kyiv

The Week reports: The U.S. has reopened its embassy in Kyiv after having closed it three months ago, just before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Wednesday. “Today we are officially resuming operations at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. The Ukrainian people, with our security assistance, have defended their homeland in the face of …

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Sec. Antony Blinken Tests COVID+, Mild Symptoms

Via press release from the State Department: Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken tested positive for COVID-19 this afternoon via a PCR test. The Secretary is fully vaccinated and boosted against the virus and is experiencing only mild symptoms. He tested negative on Tuesday and again as recently as this morning. The Secretary has not seen President Biden in person …

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Feds Move On Russia’s Unpaid NYC Parking Tickets

NBC New York reports: After the I-Team revealed Russian diplomats abusing parking privileges and failing to pay $101,000 in outstanding NYC parking summonses, NBC New York has learned the U.S. State Department has held up more than two dozen registrations for vehicles belonging to the Russian Federation. The action will prevent Russia from renewing some of its U.S. diplomatic license …

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Biden To Nominate New US Ambassador To Ukraine

Axios reports: President Biden announced on Monday that he intends to nominate Bridget Brink as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. The U.S. has not had an ambassador to Ukraine since former President Trump removed Marie Yovanovitch from the position in 2019. The White House’s announcement follows Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr …

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Antony Blinken: US Will Soon Reopen Embassy In Kyiv

Reuters reports: The United States promised on Monday to reopen its embassy in Kyiv soon, as Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Ukraine’s capital and hailed its success so far against Russia’s invasion. Both men said the fact they were able to come to Kyiv was proof of Ukraine’s tenacity in forcing Moscow to abandon …

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State Dept: X Gender Markers Allowed On Passports

Via press release from the State Department: The Department of State has reached another milestone in our work to better serve all U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender identity. In June, I announced that U.S. passport applicants could self-select their gender and were no longer required to submit any medical documentation, even if their selected gender differed from their other citizenship …

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Former Sec. Of State Madeleine Albright Dies At 84

CNN reports: Madeleine Albright, the first woman US secretary of state, who helped steer Western foreign policy in the aftermath of the Cold War, has died. She was 84 years old. Her death was confirmed in an email to staff of the Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm founded by Albright. From the State Department: Albright is the first …

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Blinken: Russian Forces Have Committed War Crimes

Via press release from the State Department: Many of the sites Russia’s forces have hit have been clearly identifiable as in-use by civilians. This includes the Mariupol maternity hospital, as the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights expressly noted in a March 11 report. It also includes a strike that hit a Mariupol theater, clearly marked with …

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US Paying $2M/Month To Protect Pompeo From Iran

The Associated Press reports: The State Department says it’s paying more than $2 million per month to provide 24-hour security to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a former top aide, both of whom face “serious and credible” threats from Iran. The department told Congress in a report that the cost of protecting Pompeo and former Iran envoy Brian …

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State Department: US Citizens Should Leave Russia

From the State Department: An increasing number of airlines are cancelling flights into and out of Russia, and numerous countries have closed their airspace to Russian airlines. U.S. citizens should consider departing Russia immediately via commercial options still available. The U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens that the Department of State’s Travel Advisory level for Russia is at “Level 4: Do …

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US Warns Ukraine Govt Of Imminent Attack By Russia

CNN reports: The United States has issued a new warning to the Ukrainian government that the latest intelligence points to a full-scale Russian invasion imminently, according to Ukrainian, US and Western officials familiar with the matter. The new warning was conveyed on Tuesday morning local Kyiv time, according to three of the sources. A senior Ukrainian official said Ukraine has …

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Blinken Cancels Meeting With Russian Foreign Minister

Reuters reports: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday he had canceled a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov planned for Thursday after Moscow’s recognition of two separatist regions in Ukraine as independent entities. Blinken said he had agreed to meet with Lavrov, his counterpart, only if Russia did not invade Ukraine. “Now that we see the …

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State Department Evacuates Ukraine Embassy Staffers

Bloomberg News reports: The U.S. evacuated State Department personnel and embassy operations from Ukraine to Poland on Monday, amid fears that security conditions could deteriorate following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recognition of two separatist regions in the eastern part of the country. “For security reasons, Department of State personnel currently in Lviv will spend the night in Poland,” according to …

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US Warns Of Possible Terror Attacks In Russian Cities

CBS News reports: The U.S. Embassy in Moscow issued a security alert on Sunday warning that “according to media sources, there have been threats of attacks against shopping centers, railway and metro stations, and other public gathering places in major urban areas, including Moscow and St. Petersburg as well as in areas of heightened tension along the Russian border with …

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Russia Expels Senior US Diplomat Amid Shelling Claims

The Washington Post reports: Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists accused each other Thursday of violating a cease-fire in the eastern part of the country, a potential flash point in what Western officials say are Russian preparations for a possible attack by growing forces massed near Ukraine’s borders. In Moscow, the Russian government ordered the expulsion of the U.S. Embassy’s second-ranking diplomat, …

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State Department To Evacuate US Embassy In Kyiv

The Associated Press reports: The United States is set to evacuate its embassy in Kyiv as Western intelligence officials warn that a Russian invasion of Ukraine is increasingly imminent. U.S. officials said the State Department plans to announce early Saturday that virtually all American staff at the Kyiv embassy will be required to leave ahead of a feared Russian invasion. …

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“External Energy Source” May Cause Havana Syndrome

The Washington Post reports: An external energy source may explain disorienting and sometimes debilitating symptoms suffered by U.S. government personnel, a panel of experts has found, reaching a conclusion that, while not definitive, suggests that a foreign power could have mounted attacks on U.S. diplomats, intelligence officers and military personnel serving overseas. The findings by the expert panel, which was …

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