Even if Volodymyr Zelensky is waiting to receive Joe Biden, Antony Blinken’s visit is still symbolic. A meeting between the Ukrainian president, the head of American diplomacy and the American Minister of Defense Lloyd Austin was indeed held Sunday evening in kyiv.
“The Americans are in kyiv today. They are discussing this very moment with the president,” said an adviser to the Ukrainian president, Oleksiï Arestovitch, in an interview broadcast in the evening on YouTube. This is the first meeting between Volodymyr Zelensky and representatives of the American administration in Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24. “The friendship and collaboration between Ukraine and the United States are stronger than ever,” the Ukrainian president said on Twitter shortly before 9 p.m., without giving more details.
Arms deliveries at the heart of discussions
The discussions were to focus in particular on the supply of American arms to Ukraine. Oleksiï Arestovitch thus repeated on YouTube kyiv’s desire to see itself delivered “offensive weapons”: “As long as we cannot counter-attack, there will be a ‘new Boucha’ every day”, he said. he launched, alluding to this city in the northwestern suburbs of kyiv, which had become a symbol of the atrocities committed during the Russian occupation of the region in March. “The American representatives would not come here if they were not ready to give (weapons)”, he estimated.
On Saturday, Volodymyr Zelensky said he was “grateful” to the American administration for the help given to Ukraine, even if he reiterated that he wanted to obtain “even heavier and more powerful weapons” to face the army. Russian. Oleksiï Arestovitch also indicated on Sunday evening that “the lines of defense were on the verge of collapsing” in Mariupol, a port in southern Ukraine largely under the control of the Russian army and where the last Ukrainian fighters are entrenched, with civilians, in the immense Azovstal metallurgical complex.