The US Secretary of State arrived in kyiv on Wednesday, September 6, to, among other things, announce a new $1 billion military aid package, according to US media. “We want to make sure that Ukraine has what it needs,” said Antony Blinken, who was received by the Ukrainian foreign minister.
Berkovtske Cemetery, the first stop for US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on his third visit, this time unannounced, to kyiv.
Accompanied by the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, the senior US official paid tribute to the Ukrainians killed in combat, as is now the tradition in visits by senior international officials to the country at war. “The State Secretary is my first counterpart who begins his visit to kyiv by paying tribute to the fallen heroes at the Berkovetske Cemetery,” Kuleba wrote on his X account.
“I am here first and foremost to show our continued and determined support for Ukraine in its fight against this aggression. We have seen good progress in the counter-offensive, which is very encouraging. We want to make sure that Ukraine has what it needs,” Blinken said. on Wednesday morning after a walk through the cemetery.
The arrival of the Joe Biden Administration official comes shortly after alarm sirens in the Ukrainian capital rang out after air defense systems shot down Russian missiles targeting Kiev.
Blinken’s visit will last for two days and a meeting with the President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelensky, is scheduled on the agenda.
“A real assessment of the Ukrainians themselves”
However, according to an anonymous official told the Reuters news agency, Bliken’s main objective in Ukraine would be to obtain a first-hand assessment of the Ukrainian counter-offensive, criticized by some specialists for going too slowly: “We want to see and hear how they intend to move forward in the coming weeks,” the source said of Ukraine’s ongoing three-month hit-and-run operation against Russian forces and positions.
I welcome @SecBlinken in Ukraine.
The Secretary became the first counterpart to begin his day in Kyiv by paying tribute to our fallen heroes at Berkovetske cemetery.
This is a sign of respect to all Ukrainian warriors who gave their life for our freedom and the right to live. pic.twitter.com/yMSWFRTqh5
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) September 6, 2023
And it is that, despite the advances and the recovery of dozens of settlements and towns, the Ukrainian troops have been hindered by the constant air attacks by the Kremlin forces.
While Washington has not entered into an assessment of how the counteroffensive is progressing, the anonymous official said that “the most important thing is that we get a real assessment from the Ukrainians themselves.”
In fact, Blinken will speak with Zelenski about the Ukrainian advances in the recovery of territory, especially in the eastern part of the Bakhmut region, where the Ukrainian president was just a few days ago.
New $1 billion package for Ukraine
In addition, the US Secretary of State is expected to announce a new US military aid package valued at more than $1 billion, according to local US media.
To date, Washington has provided Ukraine with more than $43 billion in weapons and other types of military aid.
“We are determined to continue working with our partners as they build and rebuild a strong economy, a strong democracy,” said the senior official from Ukrainian territory, assuring that Kiev has a “strong” partner in the United States.
“I returned to Kiev today to meet with our Ukrainian partners to discuss their ongoing counteroffensive, future assistance and reconstruction efforts, and above all to reinforce America’s unwavering commitment to Ukraine,” Blinken reiterated on his X account. .
This would be another example of Washington’s “unconditional” support for kyiv after 19 months of war in Ukraine, after the invasion of Moscow in February 2022.
Less than a month ago, President Joe Biden asked Congress for more than $24 billion to help Ukraine fight Russia: “Dictators and autocrats cannot bite off a piece of their neighbor and keep it alive forever. that way with impunity,” Biden argued then. A request that runs into traces of Republican opposition in Congress, with some bishops close to former President Donald Trump, who ask to cut aid funds to Ukraine.
For his part, Kremlin spokesman Dimitry Peskov responded to the visit and the new US aid package to Ukraine, claiming that the United States plans to support Ukraine’s war effort “to the last Ukrainian.”
“In other words, they are going to continue supporting Ukraine in a state of war and waging this war to the last Ukrainian, sparing no money for it. That’s how we perceive it, we know it. It’s not going to affect the course of the special military operation Peskov said.
With Reuters and AP
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