Blinken’s visit — his fourth during Moscow’s assault — comes as Kyiv has touted some successes this week in its offensive to push back Russian forces.
Kyiv: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Kyiv on an unannounced visit Wednesday, where he was due to announce more than a billion dollars in fresh aid to Ukraine. Blinken’s visit — his fourth during Moscow’s assault — comes as Kyiv has touted some successes this week in its offensive to push back Russian forces.
“We expect the secretary to be able to announce more than a billion dollars in new US funding for Ukraine during the course of this visit,” a senior US State Department official said en route to Kyiv.
The State Department said Blinken had arrived in the Ukrainian capital and was greeted by US ambassador Bridget Brink.
The visit also comes at a time of change for Kyiv’s military establishment, days after President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed defence minister Oleksiy Reznikov — who served throughout the Russian invasion — after allegations of graft in defence ministry contracts.
Zelensky has vowed to keep up with Western requirements to wipe out corruption as troops fight on.
The official said it was a “good time” for Blinken to come, several months into Kyiv’s counter-offensive, and before a second winter during the full-scale war, with energy security fears rising again.
The US representative said talks will focus on “what they need for this phase of the battle” and said that supplying more air defence will be a “high priority”.
The United States has supplied key weaponry to Ukraine that has allowed it to go on the advance this summer, but progress has been slower than expected due to heavily mined territory and tough Russian defence lines.
Blinken’s visit comes just under six months after US President Joe Biden visited Kyiv to mark the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion in February.
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