Kyiv/Berlin, Apr 25 (EFE).- The United States believes that Ukrainians can win the war against Russia if it has the “right” support and equipment, US defense secretary Lloyd Austin said on Monday.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed Austin and US secretary of state Antony Blinken in Kyiv on Sunday, amid a continued onslaught from Russian troops.
“The first step in winning is believing that you can win. And so they believe that we can win,” Austin said during a press conference on the Polish-Ukrainian border Monday.
Austin said that Sunday’s meeting with Zelenskyy mainly focused on what Ukraine currently needs, calling it productive.
Blinken, meanwhile, said: “In terms of Russia’s war aims, Russia has already failed and Ukraine has already succeeded.”
He stressed that Russia had not achieved the military objectives it had set and that its army was not performing as expected.
But Moscow continues its brutal aggression on Ukraine, which Blinken said the Ukrainians are forcefully repelling.
Blinken also explained that while there are new states seeking to join Nato, Russia seeks to divide the West and the North Atlantic Alliance, while Austin hoped “to see the international community more united, especially Nato.”
The top officials also said that the United States will re-open its embassy in Ukraine this week, which was shut down after Russia’s invasion on February 24.
Ukraine’s presidential press service reported on Monday that Zelenskyy asked for more aid from the US during the meeting in Kyiv and called for a tightening of sanctions on Russia.
The three discussed defense assistance, financial support for Ukraine, as well as security guarantees, according to the press service.
Zelenskyy gave the US officials an action plan to strengthen sanctions against Russia, developed by Yermak-McFaul international expert group.
The plan provides restrictions on Russian oil, gas and transportation, as well as state companies.
It also pushes to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
“We appreciate the unprecedented assistance of the United States to Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said during his address.
“I would like to thank president (Joe) Biden personally and on behalf of the entire Ukrainian people for his leadership in supporting Ukraine, for his personal clear position,” he added.
Zelenskyy also thanked all “the American people, as well as the Congress for their bicameral and bipartisan support. We see it. We feel it.”
The US aid, amounting to $3.4 billion so far, had helped strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities, Zelennskyy said.
“We understand what the next steps on this path should be. And we count on the support of our partners,” he added.EFE