Blinken and Austin Emphasize U.S. Commitment on Kyiv Visit

NEAR THE POLISH-UKRAINIAN BORDER — American Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin mentioned Monday after a secrecy-shrouded go to to Kyiv that Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy is dedicated to successful his nation’s combat towards Russia and that the United States will assist him obtain that purpose.

“He has the mindset that they want to win, and we have the mindset that we want to help them win,” Austin instructed reporters in Poland, the day after the three-hour face-to-face assembly with Zelenskyy in Ukraine.

Austin mentioned that the character of the combat in Ukraine had modified now that Russia has pulled away from the wooded northern areas to deal with the jap industrial heartland of the Donbas. Because the character of the combat has developed, so have Ukraine’s navy wants, and Zelenskyy is now targeted on extra tanks, artillery and different munitions.

Read More: A Foreign Fighter on Life on Ukraine’s Front Lines

“The first step in winning is believing that you can win,” Austin mentioned. “We believe that they can win if they have the right equipment, the right support, and we’re going to do everything we can … to ensure that gets to them.”

The journey by Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was the highest-level American go to to the capital since Russia invaded in late February.

They instructed Zelenskyy and his advisers that the U.S. would supply greater than $300 million in international navy financing and had authorised a $165 million sale of ammunition.

“We had an opportunity to demonstrate directly our strong ongoing support for the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people,” Blinken mentioned. “This was, in our judgment, an important moment to be there, to have face-to-face conversations in detail.”

Blinken mentioned their assembly with the Ukrainians lasted for 3 hours for vast ranging talks, together with what assist the nation wants within the weeks forward.

“The strategy that we’ve put in place, massive support for Ukraine, massive pressure against Russia, solidarity with more than 30 countries engaged in these efforts is having real results,” Blinken mentioned.

“When it comes to Russia’s war aims, Russia is failing. Ukraine is succeeding. Russia has sought as its principal aim to totally subjugate Ukraine, to take away its sovereignty, to take away its independence. That has failed.”

Read More: Ukrainians Want to Hold Russia Accountable for Wartime Rapes

Asked about what the U.S. sees as success, Austin mentioned that “we want to see Ukraine remain a sovereign country, a democratic country able to protect its sovereign territory, we want to see Russia weakened to the point where it can’t do things like invade Ukraine.”

They additionally mentioned Biden would quickly announce his nominee to be ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, and that American diplomats who left Ukraine earlier than the struggle would begin returning to the nation this coming week. The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv will stay closed for the second.

Brink, a profession international service officer, has served since 2019 as ambassador to Slovakia. She beforehand held assignments in Serbia, Cyprus, Georgia and Uzbekistan in addition to with the White House National Security Council. The publish requires affirmation by the U.S. Senate.

Journalists who traveled with Austin and Blinken to Poland have been barred from reporting on the journey till it was over, weren’t allowed to accompany them on their overland journey into Ukraine, and have been prohibited from specifying the place in southeast Poland they met again up with the Cabinet members upon their return. Officials on the State Department and the Pentagon cited safety issues.

Austin and Blinken introduced a complete of $713 million in international navy financing for Ukraine and 15 allied and companion international locations; some $322 million is earmarked for Kyiv. The the rest can be break up amongst NATO members and different nations which have supplied Ukraine with crucial navy provides because the struggle with Russia started, officers mentioned.

Such financing is totally different from earlier U.S. navy help for Ukraine. It isn’t a donation of drawn-down U.S. Defense Department stockpiles, however fairly money that international locations can use to buy provides that they may want.

The new cash, together with the sale of $165 million in non-U.S.-made ammunition that’s suitable with Soviet-era weapons the Ukrainians use, brings the full quantity of American navy help to Ukraine to $3.7 billion because the invasion, officers mentioned.

Biden has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of genocide for the destruction and dying wrought on Ukraine. Just on Thursday, Biden mentioned he would supply a brand new bundle of $800 million in navy support to Ukraine that included heavy artillery and drones.

Read More: The Ukraine War Is Changing Europe’s Enthusiasm for Nuclear Energy

Congress authorised $6.5 billion for navy help final month as a part of $13.6 billion in spending for Ukraine and allies in response to the Russian invasion.

From Poland, Blinken plans to return to Washington whereas Austin will head to Ramstein, Germany, for a gathering Tuesday of NATO protection ministers and different donor international locations.

That dialogue will take a look at battlefield updates from the bottom, further safety help for Ukraine and longer-term protection wants in Europe, together with step up navy manufacturing to fill gaps attributable to the struggle in Ukraine, officers mentioned. More than 20 nations are anticipated to ship representatives to the assembly.

Associated Press author David Rising contributed to this report from Bangkok

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