Anthony Blinken met this Wednesday with the Ukrainian president Volodimir Zelenskyin the last of a series of encounters that the Secretary of State for USA maintained with the highest authorities of Ukraine on the first day of your visit to kyiv.
According to a statement from the State Department, Blinken will speak with Zelensky about the counteroffensiveas well as the future “reconstruction” of the country, devastated by the invasion that the Russian president, Vladimir Putinlaunched in February 2022.
A senior official on his team told reporters that they expected “announcing more than $1 billion in new US funding for Ukraine in the course of this visit.
Meetings with Kuleba and Shmyhal
blinken, who makes a surprise visit to the country, the fourth since the start of the Russian invasion, previously met with his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmitro Kulebaand the prime minister Denys Shmyhal.
Blinken’s visit was aimed at assess the counteroffensive launched by Ukrainian forces three months ago and highlight Washington’s continued backing for Kiev’s efforts to drive Kremlin forces out of the country after 19 months of war, amid concerns among some Western allies about the pace of progress, they said. US officials.
Upon arrival in kyiv, Blinken laid a wreath at the Berkovetske cemetery of the city in memory of the members of the Ukrainian armed forces who lost their lives defending their country.
“We want to make sure that Ukraine has what it needs, not just to succeed in their counteroffensive, but what they need in the long run, to make sure that has a strong deterrent”, indicated Blinken during the visit. “We are also determined to continue working with our partners as they build and rebuild a strong economy, a strong democracy.”
Next to Kulebabefore a devastating Russian bombardment against the civilian population of Kostiantynivka, blinken reaffirmed the determination of the United States to support Kiev to achieve the liberation of the occupied territories.
“We want to make sure that Ukraine has everything it needs in the long term (…) and strong deterrents”said.
He also said that during the meeting with Prime Minister shmyhal he spoke of cooperation between Washington and kyiv “to support the democratic and prosperous future of Ukraine.”
“The Ukrainian people continue to bravely defend their democracy and inspire the world,” said the Secretary of State on his social media.
“Free every inch”
During his train trip to kyiv, blinken He also met with the Danish Prime Minister, mette frederiksenwho delivered a speech before the Ukrainian Parliament in the morning.
The American thanked Frederiksen for “the leadership of Denmark” which announced two weeks ago that, together with the Netherlands, it was going to provide planes of fighter F-16 to kyiv.
In Parliament, Ukrainian deputies voted for the replacement of Oleksiy Reznikovbecome one of the faces of the Ukrainian resistance, but forced to leave office due to corruption scandals in his ministry.
His successor is Rustem Umerov41, a leading figure in the Crimean Tatar community, who is reputed to be a tactful and pragmatic negotiator.
“I will do everything possible and impossible for the victory of Ukraine, when we will have liberated every inch of our country and all of ours,” Umerov said on Facebook.