On an unannounced visit to Kyiv, US Vice President Joseph Biden stated that the US would support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia for “as long as it takes.”
We are completely confident that you will keep winning, he added.
Days before Russia’s invasion anniversary, Mr. Biden made his first trip to Ukraine as president.
Vladimir Putin had been “dead wrong,” according to him, to believe that Russia could outlast Ukraine and its allies in the West.
He crossed paths with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and the two of them went to a memorial for soldiers who have fallen in the nine years since Russia grabbed Crimea and its proxies took over some of the eastern Donbas region.
According to a statement from the White House, the purpose of Mr. Biden’s attendance was to reaffirm America’s “unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s democracy, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.”
He had secretly boarded a train from Poland to Kyiv and traveled back to Poland afterward. A few hours prior to President Biden’s departure, Moscow was informed about the trip for “deconfliction purposes,” a US official claimed.
During the visit, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken unveiled a fresh $450 million (£373 million) package of security aid for Ukraine that includes Javelin missiles, air surveillance radars, ammo for howitzers and the Himars rocket system, and more.
In order to sustain Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, the US will also give Kyiv an additional $10 million in emergency help, according to Mr. Blinken.
Later this week, there will also be an announcement of a fresh round of penalties against people and organizations “who are trying to escape or backfill Russia’s military machine.”
According to Mr. Zelensky, Mr. Biden embodied the tenacity necessary for Ukraine to defeat Russia.
According to him, “the fate of the world order, which is founded on laws, on humanity… is being decided now and in Ukraine.”
Additionally, he claimed that the two leaders had discussed the idea of sending additional armaments. The US and other allies have so far refrained from approving Mr. Zelensky’s repeated requests for F-16 combat fighters.
Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, commented on the trip and predicted failure for those who “sold their hearts to the Americans.”
Air raid sirens rang while President Biden and Mr. Zelensky were at St. Michael’s Church in central Kyiv, adding drama to the most high-profile visit to Ukraine since the war started.
The city is frequently alerted by sirens. Although though other world leaders have traveled to Ukraine in the previous year, the US president’s appearance in Kyiv amid a conflict in which American military are not engaged is a sign of unity at a time when Russia claims Western support for Ukraine is dwindling.
In Kiev, Ukrainians welcomed the visit.
According to Roksoliana Gera, who spoke to the BBC, “I’m so grateful for his support – it means really much to us.” I admire his bravery for accepting this task and coming to express the country of Americans’ support.
Oleksandra Soloviova claimed that the visit served as a reminder to Russia that “the US supports us and will continue to support us, with sanctions and military weaponry.”
The chief of staff to the president of Ukraine, Andriy Yermak, claimed that the trip had been both historic and strategic. He declared, “Many problems are being resolved, and others that have halted will be hastened.
One of Ukraine’s main allies, the US, has so far committed $24.9 billion in military aid, according to the state department.
Mr. Biden stated in January that 31 battle tanks and longer-range missiles would be sent by the US.
The amount of aid that Kyiv should receive in the future is a topic of considerable political contention in the US.
Prior to a three-day trip to Poland, where he will meet Andrzej Duda, President Biden paid a visit to Kyiv. He will also meet with Nato allies in east Europe during this trip.