Conflicts & War

Blinken praises Ukraine’s ‘heartening’ counteroffensive during Kyiv visit

(Update 2: Adds Blinken remarks)

Kyiv, Sep 6 (EFE).- Ukraine has made good progress in its counteroffensive against Russian invading forces, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday during a visit to Kyiv.

Blinken was making an unannounced visit to the Ukrainian capital, where he was due to meet with his foreign ministry counterpart Dmytro Kuleba and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenksyy.

“We’ve seen good progress in the counteroffensive, which is very heartening,” Blinken told reporters alongside Kuleba, adding that he was making the visit to demonstrate Washington’s “ongoing and determined support” for Ukraine.

“We want to make sure that Ukraine has what it needs, not only to succeed in the counteroffensive, but that it has what it needs for the long term to make sure that it has a strong deterrent and a strong defense capacity so that in the future aggressions like this don’t happen again,” the US secretary of state added, insisting that Kyiv has a “strong partner in the US.”

In a statement prior to his arrival, the State department had said Blinken would discuss Ukrainian energy, security, and humanitarian needs.

Upon arrival, Blinken visited the Berkovetske cemetery with Kuleba to honor Ukraine’s fallen during Russia’s invasion.

“The Secretary became the first counterpart to begin his day in Kyiv by paying tribute to our fallen heroes at Berkovetske cemetery,” Kuleba wrote on social media.

“This is a sign of respect to all Ukrainian warriors who gave their life for our freedom and the right to live,” he added.

Blinken was due to meet with Zelenskyy later on Wednesday to discuss Ukraine’s ongoing counteroffensive and future recovery and reconstruction efforts, the US state department said.

According to US media, Blinken is set to announce a fresh military aid package worth over $1 billion.

The US Secretary of State arrived in Kyiv just hours after Ukrainian forces had repelled a Russian missile attack over the city.

This is Blinken’s third visit since the start of Russia’s invasion on February 24, 2022, after previous trips in April and September last year.EFE


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