OAN’s James Meyers
2:09 PM – Wednesday, September 6, 2023
Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed the Biden administration’s support for Ukraine during an unannounced visit to the capital city of Kyiv, after the city was struck by a Russian missile attack.
This is Blinken’s fourth visit to Ukraine since the beginning of the war in February 2022, the State Department confirmed.
“We are determined in the United States to continue to walk side-by-side with you,” Blinken said as he sat opposite Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Wednesday in the capital of Kyiv. “President Biden asked me to come to reaffirm strongly our support.”
During his fourth visit in Ukraine, Blinken will meet with Ukrainian President Zelensky, Prime minister Denysw Shmyal, and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to discuss the country’s counteroffensive in the war.
“We want to make sure that Ukraine has what it needs, not only to succeed in the counteroffensive but has what it needs for the long-term to make sure that it has a strong deterrent,” Blinken said during the visit. “We’re also determined to continue to work with our partners as they build and rebuild a strong economy, strong democracy.”
Additionally, the Defense Department announced another aid package on Wednesday for $175 million in aid for Ukraine.
A senior State Department official said that the aid will be used to support Ukraine in its effort to break through “really vicious lines of defenses” created by Russia, and stated that air defense “continues to be a high priority.”
The latest round of aid to Ukraine comes after Ukrainian lawmakers approved Zelensky’s nomination for a new defense minister, Rustem Umerov.
Due to security concerns with the ongoing war, Blinken’s travel plans were kept private until after he had arrived in Ukraine. He is reportedly planning on staying in the country for a second day and is expected to visit cultural landmarks.
An official traveling with the secretary said that the visit would give the U.S. an opportunity to “get a real assessment from the Ukranians themselves” in regards to the counteroffensive.
The official said that the latest visit would help the U.S. and Ukraine align together for the upcoming United Nations (UN) General Assembly later this month.
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