Blinken arrives in Ukraine in show of U.S. solidarity

Blinken arrives in Ukraine in show of U.S. solidarity

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Kyiv on Tuesday for meetings with high-ranking Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky. Photo courtesy of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken/X

May 14 (UPI) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Kyiv on Tuesday morning in a display of American solidarity for the designed ally as Russia claims military gains.

The United States’ top diplomat is to meet with senior Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, during his visit to the European nation that will “highlight the United States’ enduring support for Ukraine,” the State Department said in a statement.

On arrival in Ukraine, Blinken posted online a picture of himself under armed guard at a train station. It is his fourth trip to Kyiv since the war began in February 2022.

“I returned to Kyiv today to demonstrate our unwavering support for Ukraine as they defend their freedom against Russian aggression,” he said on X.

His visit to Ukraine comes three weeks after President Joe Biden signed a supplemental national security bill that included some $60 billion in military aid for Kyiv.

The signing ceremony was held following months of Republican stonewalling on the White House’s efforts to get Congress to approve the new funds for Ukraine despite its war supplies dwindling.

The State Department said that Blinken will discuss the impact of new U.S. security and economic assistance with the Ukrainian officials as well as battlefield updates and ongoing work to bolster the country’s war-torn economy.

He is also to deliver remarks at 11 a.m. EDT at Kyiv’s Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute on how the United States and other allies will help Ukraine build “a free, prosperous and secure democracy” that is fully integrated into Europe and the Transatlantic Alliance, a note on the speech from the State Department said.

The visit also comes as Russia has increased its attacks on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, and claimed gains.

Russia’s defense ministry said its Battlegroup North had captured at least four settlements in the Kharkov Region over the weekend, state-run TASS reported.

Zelensky said in a recorded statement Monday that its forces are countering Russian attacks in the Kharkiv Region, destroying infantry and armored vehicles.

He said the Russians are attempting to stretch their forces thin.

“Our task is crystal clear: to thwart Russia’s attempt to expand the war,” he said. “The occupiers must not have a single safe location on Ukrainian soil. And in the Ukrainian skies.”  » …
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