US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Wednesday, where he is expected to announce a new $1 billion aid package to the Ukrainian government.
The media unofficially learned about Blinken's possible visit the day before. The State Department, which he heads, did not want to comment on the rumors, the Evroipeiska Pravda newspaper explained.
The Ukrainian press announced on Wednesday morning that the head of American foreign policy was already in the Ukrainian capital. It is Blinken's third trip to Ukraine since Russian President Vladimir Putin sent the Russian Army against his neighboring country in February 2022.
The last of these trips occurred just a year ago. The Kyiv government received a visit from US President Joe Biden in February of this year in a gesture that underlined the US military, political and diplomatic commitment to Ukraine, as it coincided with the first year of the Russian intervention. in the country.
Blinken's visit takes place in the midst of Kyiv's counteroffensive to expel Russian troops from Ukrainian territory. It is also produced as part of the preparations for the probable visit of the President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelensky, to the United States. On September 19, the Ukrainian leader could speak before the UN General Assembly in New York.
The American diplomat must discuss the needs of his Ukrainian ally, especially for military assistance, during his meetings with Zelensky; the Prime Minister, Denis Shmihal; and the Foreign Minister, Dimitró Kuleba.
Washington will continue its "efforts" so that the Ukrainians "have what they need for this phase of the battle," said a senior State Department official, on condition of anonymity, quoted by international agencies.
The same official said that the announcement of an aid of more than one billion dollars (930 million euros) to the Government of Ukraine is expected. And he explained that it is counter-offensive aid, "material not only to attack, but also to really break through the fierce lines of defense put up by the Russians. Air defense remains a high priority."
Several outlets have quoted unnamed US officials complaining about the slow pace of the counteroffensive. The criticism was not liked by the Ukrainian government and Kuleba came to ask these critics for silence.
Ukraine has recaptured more than a dozen villages and small settlements in its counteroffensive, most recently Robotine, in the Zaporizhia region, which before the war had a population of fewer than 500 people. The advance of its soldiers into Russian-controlled territory has been slowed by resilient Russian defenses, made up of vast minefields and kilometers of trenches.
Russia has always condemned the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine. Moscow assures that this military aid leads to an aggravation of the conflict.