Blinken: Unity is essential for NATO, Ukraine

STORY: Blinken met NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and ambassadors from the alliance, in part to report back from his trip, on which he pledged new military aid and was briefed on Ukraine's counteroffensive against Russian forces.

Blinken said at a news conference following the meetings that there was an opportunity to reduce reliance on Russian energy, saying President Vladimir Putin would "never stop" trying to weaponize it.

A senior State Department official said ahead of the visit to Brussels that it was part of the "constant gardening" the Biden administration has been doing to maintain unity among European nations.

Some analysts say the shortages and a surge in living costs as winter approaches risk sapping Western support for Kyiv as governments try to deal with disgruntled populations.

Moscow has cited Western sanctions and technical issues for the energy disruptions. European countries who have backed Kyiv with diplomatic and military support have accused Russia of weaponizing energy supplies.