The American diplomats will start returning to Ukraine this week, first to the western city of Lviv, and finally to the capital Ki!
The United States is also providing additional foreign military funding to Ukraine to help the country acquire more advanced weapons and air defense systems to defend against Russian attacks, according to senior US officials.
US President Joe Biden will officially nominate Bridget Brink, who is currently the US Ambassador to Slovakia, as US Ambassador to Ukraine.
“This will underscore our commitment (to Ukraine). “We will try to get our diplomats back to our embassy in Kyiv as soon as possible,” said a senior State Department official.
Several EU member states are sending diplomats back to Ki, including Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Slovakia and Slovenia. The British government announced on Friday that the British Embassy in Key will be reopened soon.
The return of foreign diplomats is seen as a sign of certain security in Ukraine almost two months after the Russian shelling.
“We intend to commit more than $ 713 million in foreign military funding,” said a government official. “This includes funding for Ukraine և’s 15 other allies և partner countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans … And it will support Ukraine with the capabilities it needs, especially to fight in the Donbas.”
With the new support of foreign military funding, the United States will provide about $ 3.4 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion, and more than $ 4.3 billion since the beginning of the Biden administration.
On Sunday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Defense Minister Lloyd Austin met in Kyiv with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba and Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov.
Blinken և Austin’s visit to Ukraine is the highest level visit of the American delegation since the start of the Russian war against Ukraine on February 24.
It came Tuesday ahead of consultations between dozens of US allies at Rammstein Air Base in Germany, where Austin will discuss Ukraine’s long-term defense needs.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov will take part in the meetings to be held on Tuesday.
On Tuesday’s agenda. Update of the battlefield conditions, resistance of Ukraine against the background of Russian attacks, security assistance to Ukraine Ուկրաին Ukraine’s readiness and ability to leave the Russian-made systems.
“This is not about joining NATO (Ukraine’s call), it is about helping them meet their long-term defense needs by promoting potential migration away from Soviet systems,” said a senior defense official.
“One of the things we expect to talk about in Rammstein on Tuesday is additional investment by allies and partners in the systems, weapons and ammunition that the Ukrainians need most,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told a briefing in Poland on Sunday.
Kirby said the United States has accelerated deliveries of major security assistance packages to Ukraine over the past 10 days, some of which are already arriving. The United States sees no sign that these cargo shipments are banned by Russian forces.
Ukrainian officials said on Sunday that Russian forces had launched a new air strike on the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, where Ukrainian forces were hiding and disobeying Russian demands.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a siege on an object that Russian forces were trying to seize from thousands of Ukrainian fighters and civilians who continued to control the plant through a labyrinth of tunnels and passages.
Speaking at a lengthy news conference at Ki Ki metro station on Saturday night, Zelensky said he was looking for Americans to work on “weapons” and security guarantees.
“You can not come to us empty-handed today, we are waiting not only for gifts or some cakes, but also for concrete things, concrete weapons,” he said.
Over the past two weeks, President Biden has approved $ 800 million in additional arms supplies to Ukraine, including $ 500 million in economic aid.
With congressional approval for military aid to Ukraine almost exhausted, Biden said he would seek more approval, which is part of the Western arming of Ukraine in the fight against Russia, which could not send troops to fight alongside Ukrainian forces.
Zelensky has repeatedly called for more heavy weapons, including long-range air defense systems, as well as military aircraft.
Zelensky’s meeting with Austin կ Blinken was to take place at a time when Ukrainians and Russians were celebrating Orthodox Easter. Zelensky is a Jew, but speaking from Ki’s ancient Hagia Sophia, he quoted Ukrainians as wishing for the holiday.
“Today’s great holiday gives us great hope, unshakable faith that light will overcome darkness, good will overcome evil, life will overcome death, and, consequently, Ukraine will definitely win.” he said.
But Russian bombing remains a constant threat to Ukraine. The Russian military says it has hit 423 Ukrainian targets overnight, mostly in the industrial area of eastern Donbass, destroyed 26 Ukrainian military installations, including an explosives factory and several artillery depots.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in a statement on Sunday that it was “deeply concerned about the situation in Mariupol, where the population is in dire need of assistance.” The ICRC said: “Immediate, unhindered humanitarian access is needed to allow thousands of civilians and hundreds of wounded to voluntarily leave the city, including the Azovstal plant.”
After the Blinken-Austin visit, Zelensky is going to meet with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday. On Monday, the UN leader will meet with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, and on Tuesday in Moscow.
British officials said on Saturday that Russian troops had not recaptured significant new positions despite announcing a resumption of attacks along the eastern front, while Ukraine announced a nationwide curfew on Sunday before Orthodox Easter.
Ukraine says Russian forces have thwarted attempts to evacuate civilians from the besieged port city of Mariupol.
“Evacuation has been disrupted,” Mariupol city official Peter Andryushchenko told the Telegram, adding that about 200 people had gathered at a government-appointed evacuation meeting point but were “dispersed” by Russian forces.
Some information about this story was received by the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.
US diplomats begin returning to Ukraine
SourceUS diplomats begin returning to Ukraine