Ukrainian presidency: Zelensky meets Blinken and Austin in Kiev

According to the Ukrainian presidency, a meeting was held Sunday evening between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and US Secretary of State and Defense Anthony Blinken and Lloyd Austin in Kiev.

“The Americans are in Kiev on Sunday. They are talking in this moment with the president, “said Oleksiy Aristovich, adviser to the Ukrainian president, in an interview published in evening on YouTube, in the first meeting between Zelensky and representatives of the US administration in Ukraine since the start of the Russian military operation on February 24, according to AFP.

“assault weapons”

Aristovich also reiterated Kiev’s desire to receive “weapons.” offensive”, adding that” American officials would not have come here if they weren’t willing to provide “weapons.

He also pointed out that “the lines of defense are on the verge of collapse” in the strategic city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine, which is in largely under the control of the Russian army, and where the last Ukrainian fighters with large numbers of civilians are holed up in the Azovstal complex.

Discussions should focus in particular on the shipment of US weapons in Ukraine.

“The friendship and cooperation between Ukraine and the United States is stronger than ever,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter before 21:00 GMT, without giving further details.

800 million dollars

Interestingly, US President Joe Biden pledged Thursday to provide an additional $ 800 million military and security aid package to Ukraine.

Addressing Americans from the White House’s Roosevelt Hall, Biden pledged to send dozens of howitzers, 144,000 rounds of ammunition and tactical drones, and called on Congress to secure the necessary funds to provide additional aid to Kiev.

It also announced $ 500 million in direct economic aid to the Ukrainian government to help save the lives of those besieged by Russian forces, according to Reuters.

More than 3 billion dollars

The shipment of new weapons is the same size as a $ 800 million shipment announced earlier this month, which included artillery systems, artillery shells, armored personnel carriers and defense vessels. coastal, thus expanding the range of equipment sent to Kiev to include new types of heavy equipment.

Interestingly, this brings the value of US military aid to Kiev to over $ 3 billion since the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine.

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