US Secretary of Defense’s visit to Ukraine
US officials have confirmed that Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin arrived in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, on Sunday.
During the visit, US officials held a 90-minute meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelinsky and announced the gradual return of US diplomats to Ukraine this week, announcing an additional $ 700 million in direct and indirect aid. According to the schedule, the return process starts from the city of Lviv and the diplomats return to the US Embassy in Kiev after a break.
This is the first visit by a senior US official to Ukraine since the start of the Russian military offensive on February 24.
The news of the secret visit of the two cabinet ministers, Joe Biden, was officially announced on Monday, when both Mr. Blinken and Mr. Austin had returned to Poland.
U.S. officials say the sudden and public announcement of the trip by Zelensky, just one day before the trip, has raised doubts.
US officials’ travel to war zones is usually not announced in advance due to security and protection issues.