The head of US diplomacy and the US secretary of defense visited Kyiv on Sunday. Antony Blinken and Lloyd Austin met with President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian politicians. US officials spoke at a joint press conference on Monday morning.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense, Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin traveled to Poland on Saturday, and then to Ukraine on Sunday, where they met with President Volodymyr Zelensky and other high-ranking Ukrainian officials, a high-ranking official of the US Department of State announced.
According to these reports, Blinken and Austin talked for about 90 minutes with Zelensky, with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba and Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov. US diplomats refused to allow the media to accompany them to Ukraine, citing security concerns.
Blinken: It was a very important moment for Ukraine
At a joint press conference on Monday morning, Blinken said that “it was a very important moment for Ukraine.” – A very important moment during this war and an important moment for conducting direct detailed talks on the support that is provided for security, economy and humanitarian issues in Ukraine, as well as the enormous pressure that we put on Russia – said the US Secretary of State.
– We announced the return of US diplomats to Kiev from next week, including the intention to nominate Bridget Brink as the US ambassador to Kiev. We also had the opportunity to discuss further actions in the future, he added.
Return of American diplomats to Kiev
American diplomats left the embassy in Kiev almost two weeks before the Russian invasion started on February 24, shifting some of their tasks to Lviv and then to Poland. In the coming week, US diplomats will resume “daily journeys” across the border to Lviv, and officials plan to return to the mission in Kiev, an official from the US State Department said.
– There is no substitute for face-to-face contact. The return to the country, of course, has a symbolic meaning – explained the official quoted by the Reuters agency. He also said that on Monday President Joe Biden would formally nominate Bridget Brink, now the US ambassador to Slovakia, as head of the diplomatic mission in Ukraine, which, as Reuters reminded, had been vacant for more than two years.
Brink is a professional US diplomat. From May 2019, he is the US ambassador in Bratislava. Previously, she worked in posts in Serbia, Cyprus, Georgia and Uzbekistan, and in the presidential National Security Council.
The American embassy in Kiev has been headed by a diplomat in the rank of charge d’affaires since 2019.
Another million dollars for Ukraine
Blinken and Austin’s visit was to show support for Ukraine, and US officials also pledged new aid to Ukraine amounting to $ 713 million.
The change in the course of the conflict was also emphasized since the Ukrainian forces, armed with weapons coming from the West, successfully repelled the Russian attack on Kyiv.
Thanks from Zelenskiy
The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, thanked the President of the United States, Joe Biden, for supporting his country in a tweet posted on Sunday evening.
“Two months of the nation’s heroic resistance to Russian aggression are behind us. I am grateful to the US president and the entire nation for the leadership and support of Ukraine,” wrote Zelenskiy. He stressed that the Ukrainian people today are united and strong, and that the friendship and partnership between Ukraine and America are as strong as ever.
Main photo source: REUTERS