US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has arrived in the Ukrainian capital Kiev for an unannounced visit. Talks with the Ukrainian leadership are planned, Austin wrote on Monday on the social network X (formerly Twitter). He brings an important message: “The United States will continue to stand with Ukraine in its fight for freedom from Russian aggression, both now and in the future.”
Preparations for Ramstein meeting
According to the Pentagon, Austin had already spoken on the phone with Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umjerov the day before. They prepared the upcoming consultations of the countries that provide military support to Ukraine. The so-called Ramstein format will meet next Wednesday (November 22nd) as a video conference. The commander in chief of US troops in Europe, General Christopher Cavoli, came to Kiev with Austin, as Ambassador Bridget Brink announced.
US aid under scrutiny
Ukraine has been repelling a Russian invasion since February 2022. No other country has helped Ukraine with such large arms deliveries as the USA. However, the continuation of the aid is controversial in the US Congress; President Joe Biden’s administration must fight to release the funds.