Ukraine aid, security deal and “Rockin’ In The Free World”: Blinken’s visit to Kyiv

May 15,2024 244
Ukraine aid, security deal and “Rockin’ In The Free World”: Blinken’s visit to Kyiv

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken officially visited Kyiv on May 14th. “I returned to Kyiv today to demonstrate our unwavering support for Ukraine as they defend their freedom against Russian aggression,” wrote Blinken.

This is Blinken’s first visit to Ukraine since the adoption of the long-awaited $61 billion aid package aimed to show US solidarity with Ukraine amid mass Russian attacks on the country’s northeastern border, as reported by Reuters.

Currently, Ukraine is going through tough times, but assistance from the US “is on the way.” This support will be crucial for Ukraine’s fight against Russian aggression, stated Blinken during a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

We’re determined along with many other partners of Ukraine to make sure that you succeed on the battlefield,” he added.

At the same time, Volodymyr Zelenskyy informed the US Secretary of State that Ukraine needs two Patriot systems to defend Kharkiv and Kharkiv Oblast. “Currently, we urgently need two Patriots for Kharkiv and the oblast, as people there are under attack and they are very concerned about it,” emphasized Zelenskyy.

During Blinken’s meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, another $400 million military aid package for Ukraine and the confiscation of Russian assets were in focus. 

“We had a meeting with Antony Blinken, and discussed another military aid package worth $400 million. I’ve emphasized the need to strengthen air defense in Ukraine, particularly to protect energy facilities and received assurance that the United States is working in this direction,” said Shmyhal.

The American official also had a working lunch with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba at the Veterano Pizza pizzeria in downtown Kyiv, a restaurant founded by a Ukrainian veteran Leonid Ostaltsev.

“The first round of negotiations with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken we conducted in the legendary Veterano pizzeria. We began the conversation about supporting Ukraine, restoring fair peace, and building our state, about weapons for our soldiers right here, where you see, for whom and thanks to whom. I told him the story of the establishment created by veterans, who are still at the front, and ordered the ‘Ukrainian’ pizza,” wrote Kuleba on Instagram.


Переглянути цей допис в Instagram


Допис, поширений Dmytro Kuleba (@dmytro_kuleba)

During his visit, Blinken also revealed details of a security agreement between the US and Ukraine – the document will provide military assistance to Kyiv and help it join NATO.

Under our own ten-year agreement, the United States will support Ukraine’s defense and security across a range of essential capabilities – from its air force to its air defense, from drones to demining,” said Blinken during a speech at the Ihor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute.

Additionally, the text will outline consultation mechanisms in case of an attack: “If Russia or anyone else were to attack Ukraine, we will work with Ukraine immediately – at the highest levels – to coordinate how to help you beat back the threat.” Among other things, the document will accelerate efforts to build up Ukraine’s defence industry.

The US Secretary of State also announced that other countries have provided Ukraine with three times more economic assistance than Washington. He also emphasized that Ukraine needs to not only defeat Russia but also overcome corruption within the country, to avoid “becoming like Russia.”

To conclude his visit to Kyiv, Blinken performed at the BarmanDictat bar in the capital. The Secretary of State sang Neil Young’s Rockin’ In The Free World while playing the role of a frontman and guitarist.