Office of the Spokesperson
December 11, 2018
Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan will travel to Bratislava, Vienna, Sofia, Sarajevo, Skopje, and Warsaw from December 12-20. On December 12 in Bratislava, Slovakia, Deputy Secretary Sullivan will underscore the importance of U.S.-Slovak bilateral relations and urge senior Slovak officials to use their upcoming chairpersonship of the OSCE to strengthen the organization’s response to Russia’s aggression in Europe. While in Bratislava, he will also discuss defense modernization and cooperation.
In Vienna, Austria, on December 13, the Deputy Secretary will express the United States’ gratitude for Austria’s contributions to security cooperation in Afghanistan and the Western Balkans, and will emphasize to senior officials the need to counter Iranian and Russian malign activities. Notwithstanding continued concerns with Russia’s destabilizing activity, while in Vienna, he will also lead an interagency counterterrorism dialogue with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Syromolotov to explore areas in which cooperation could benefit the security of the American people and prevent future terrorist attacks.
Deputy Secretary Sullivan will arrive in Sofia, Bulgaria, on December 14. There, he will advocate for NATO-interoperable U.S. systems and emphasize the importance of energy diversification to Bulgaria’s national security and regional stability.
On December 16, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, he will urge senior officials to maintain stability and continue reforms and path to the West. He will also encourage leaders of the country’s religious communities to continue dialogue and foster reconciliation in the post-war environment.
Deputy Secretary Sullivan’s stop in Skopje, Macedonia, on December 18 will be the highest-level State Department visit since 2001. There, he will discuss regional issues and encourage senior officials to continue reforms as the country works to implement the 2018 Prespa Agreement.
Finally, on December 19 the Deputy Secretary will arrive in Warsaw, Poland, where he will reaffirm the United States’ ironclad commitment to the NATO Alliance. He will commend Poland’s leaders for the country’s commitment to defense burden sharing and applaud efforts to advance energy security, noting shared concerns over projects such as Nord Stream 2.
During the course of his trip, the Deputy Secretary will also engage with U.S. Embassy staff in each of the countries, as well as representatives from the business community, alumni of U.S. exchange programs, and civil society.