The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkenhighlighted this Wednesday in kyiv when meeting with the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Dmytro Kulebathe “progress” of the Ukrainian counteroffensiveand reaffirmed Washington’s support for the Ukrainian cause in the face of the military aggression of the Russian Federation.
“We are seeing progress in the counteroffensive”Blinken told reporters at the Foreign Ministry in kyiv, while acknowledging that the Ukrainian advance “is very complicated.”
The US Secretary of State showed his willingness to “to ensure that Ukraine has everything it needs not only to successfully carry out the counteroffensive” but also so that he can count “in the long term” on “solid defensive capabilities so that similar aggressions do not happen again”.
Blinken is scheduled to meet later with various members of the kyiv government and with the president, Volodimir Zelensky.
Blinken also met, on the way to kyiv, the Danish Prime Minister, mette frederiksenwhom he thanked for Denmark’s leadership of a coalition that trains Ukrainian pilots in F-16 and his promise to donate the fighters to Ukraine, according to State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.
Assess the counteroffensive
Blinken’s trip was aimed at Assess Ukraine’s 3-month-long counteroffensive and signal the continued support of the United States, as some Western allies are expressing their worry over Ukraine’s progress in expelling Russian forces after 18 months of war, according to US officials.
Although the United States has been concerned about certain day-to-day mishaps on the battlefield, US officials said, overall it remains Ukraine’s handling of the military situation is encouragingin particular its air defense ability to shoot down Russian drones aimed at kyiv.
Blinken wants to get an idea of how the counteroffensive is progressing and what kind of support is needed in the current phase of the battle, including materiel to break through the dense Russian defensive lines as the winter season approaches. Air defense will also remain a priority, the official said.
Export of grain and new aid
Washington officials said they will also discuss alternative export routes for grain after Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative and its frequent shelling of port facilities in the Odessa region, from where most of the grain is transported abroad.
These alternatives may include new land routeseither ships that border the coasts to keep out of international waters, where they could be targeted by the Russian navy.
According to US media, the Secretary of State will announce during his trip a new aid package to Ukraine of more than one billion dollars.
Other issues will be discussed, such as the support for the Ukrainian economydevastated by the war, based on the fact that Blinken announced in June in London aid of 1,300 million dollars for the reconstruction of Kiev, focused on the modernization of its energy network, bombed by Russia last winter.
It’s about the Blinken’s fourth visit to Ukraine since the war beganincluding a very brief jaunt to the Polish-Ukrainian border in March 2022, barely a month after the Russian invasion.
However, it will be first time that the top US diplomat spends the night in the capital of Ukraine since he visited kyiv in January 2022, before the invasion.
US officials said Blinken’s decision to spend the night in kyiv was intended to send a symbolic signal of US support for Ukraine as the war dragged on.
(With information from EFE and AP)