In Kyiv, Blinken and Austin announce aid and diplomatic surge

Near the Polish-Ukraine Border (AP) —The United States to a country devastated by new military support and war to Ukraine as Secretary of State Joe Biden and Secretary of State complete a secret trip to Kieu. Announced new diplomatic promotion.

Secretary of Defense Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his adviser on a visit to the US capital, the highest level since Russia’s invasion in late February, to the United States for $ 300 million. He said he would provide the above foreign military financing. Approved $ 165 million sale of ammunition.

They also said Biden would soon announce his candidate to the Ukrainian ambassador, and US diplomats who left Ukraine before the war would begin returning to Ukraine next week. The US Embassy in Kyiv will remain closed for the time being.

Zelenskyy announced on Saturday that he would meet with U.S. officials in Kyiv on Sunday, but the Biden administration refused to confirm it, and it is possible even though the plan was underway for over a week. Refused to discuss the details of the visit.

Journalists who traveled to Poland with Austin and Brinken were forbidden to report on the trip until the end of the trip, could not accompany the overland trip to Ukraine, and where in southeastern Poland members of the Cabinet return. State Department and Pentagon officials cited security concerns.

Austin and Blinken have announced a total of $ 713 million in foreign military financing to Ukraine and its 15 allies and partners. Kyiv has been allocated approximately $ 322 million. Officials said the rest would be split between NATO members and other countries that have provided important military supplies to Ukraine since the beginning of the war with Russia.

Such funding is different from previous US military assistance to Ukraine. This is not a withdrawn Pentagon stockpile donation, but cash that can be used to purchase supplies that each country may need.

According to officials, the new funding will bring the total amount of US military aid to Ukraine 37, along with the sale of $ 165 million in non-US ammunition compatible with Ukrainian weapons of the Soviet era. I made it 100 million dollars.

Zelensky urged Americans not to come empty-handed. US officials said they believe the new support will satisfy at least some of the Ukrainian urgent plea for further support. New cannons, including howitzers, continue to be delivered rapidly to Ukrainian troops trained for use in neighboring countries, officials said.

On the diplomatic side, Blinken told Zelensky that Biden would announce that veteran diplomat Bridget Blinken would be appointed as the next US ambassador to Ukraine. Brink, a diplomat in his career, has been an ambassador to Slovakia since 2019. She previously performed her duties at the National Security Council in Serbia, Cyprus, Georgia, Uzbekistan, and the White House. Her post requires confirmation by the US Senate.

Brinken also told the Ukrainian Foreign Minister that a small staff of the now closed U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, which had moved from a temporary office in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv to Poland, will be in Lviv within a few days. He said he would start a day trip to Ukraine. Officials said the United States would accelerate the review of the security situation in the capital and the State Department would reopen the embassy as soon as the situation allows.

Biden accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of genocide in the destruction and death brought to Ukraine. Just Thursday, Biden said he would offer a new $ 800 million package of military aid to Ukraine, including heavy artillery and drones.

Parliament last month approved $ 6.5 billion in military aid as part of its $ 13.6 billion spending on Ukraine and its allies to respond to Russia’s aggression.

From Poland, Blinken will return to Washington, and Austin will head to Rammstein, Germany, for a meeting of NATO Defense Ministers and other donor countries on Tuesday.

The discussion includes long-term defense in Europe, including up-to-date information on the battlefield from the ground, additional security assistance to Ukraine, and ways to strengthen military production to fill the gaps caused by the war in Ukraine. Officials said they would focus on needs. It is expected that more than 20 countries will be represented at the conference.

Ukrainian officials who participated were Zelensky, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Defense Minister Olexi Reznikov, Ambassador Oskana Markarowa, Secretary of Defense Valerii Zaluzhny, President Andrie Jermac, and Andrey Sibiya of the Zelensky office.

In addition to Blinken and Austin, the United States was represented by Deputy Secretary of State Tom Sullivan, Senior Military Assistant Lieutenant Randy George, and Deputy Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper.