US Ministers Pay Blitz Visit to Kyiv: Ukraine Will Last Longer Than Putin’s Russia
US Secretary of State and Defense Antony Blinken and Lloyd Austin visited Kyiv on Sunday. It is the first time US leaders have moved to Ukraine since the Russian invasion. It was a blitz visit: when American officials confirmed the news of the trip, the two ministers were already in Poland.
Blinken spoke positively about the situation in Kyiv. “We saw people walking around in the streets. That is proof that the battle of Kyiv has been won. Russia is not achieving its war objectives, while Ukraine has already achieved significant successes. “Ukraine will last longer as a sovereign country than Putin’s Russia.”
Blinken and Austin announced in Kyiv that American diplomats would gradually return to Ukraine from this week. They will first work in the Ukrainian city of Lviv but eventually have to return to the embassy in Kyiv.
According to Austin, Ukraine can win the war with Russia if it has the right military equipment and if Ukrainians believe they can win. “The first thing you need is the belief that you can win. And they’re confident they can win,” Austin said. “They can win if they have the right equipment and support. President Zelensky was grateful for everything we are doing for Ukraine, but he is mainly focused on what is needed. Ukraine now mainly needs long-range weapons and tanks because the war has changed.”
The United States has recently increased supplies of military equipment to Ukraine. Heavy weapons are now also provided. “We want to weaken Russia to the point that it will no longer be able to do things like the invasion of Ukraine,” Austin said. “They have already lost a lot of military capacity and many troops. We wouldn’t want them to rebuild that capacity any time soon.”
Ministers pledged more than $700 million in additional direct and indirect aid. The extra funding should help Ukraine fight against the Russian offensive in the east and south. In addition, she must help Ukraine and the other 15 countries to purchase more advanced weapons and air defence systems.
Ukrainian President Zelensky said the visit by US ministers is “precious and important” for his country. According to Zelensky, they held consultations on stricter sanctions against Russia, financial aid and security guarantees, among other things. “Thank you, United States, for your unprecedented help,” it sounded.