U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday promised U.S. support for jittery Central Asian nations to reduce their reliance on Russia as he warned that any wavering on Ukraine could embolden Moscow elsewhere in the former Soviet bloc.

Days after the anniversary of the Russian invasion, the top U.S. diplomat met jointly with counterparts from all five Central Asian nations, where Moscow has long been the top power and magnet for workers, and where neighboring China also has a growing influence.

At the meeting in Kazakhstan's icy, windswept capital Astana, Blinken announced $25 million in new funding, on top of $25 million announced in September, to help Central Asia diversify trade away from Russia.