US officials make top-secret visit to Ukraine

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US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III reportedly visited Kiev.

A day earlier, Mr. Zelensky disclosed plans for the highest-level U.S. delegation to visit Ukraine since Russia launched its so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine two months ago. And in an interview broadcast on Sunday, as the U.S. government remained silent, an adviser to Mr. Zelensky, Oleksiy Arestovych, said on Ukrainian television that the men were there, according to The New York Times.

“They’re right now in Kiev, talking to the president,” Mr. Arestovich said. “Maybe something will be decided regarding how they can help.”

The New York Times says less secret was the agenda of the meeting: Ukraine’s plea for more military aid from Western allies as it tries to fend off an attack that has crushed cities and left thousands dead. One Ukrainian lawmaker said it sent “a powerful signal to Russia that Ukraine will not be left alone with this war.”

Already, Congress has reportedly approved $13.6 billion in emergency spending related to the invasion, including for weapons, military supplies and one of the largest infusions of U.S. foreign aid to any country in the last decade. The funds also cover the deployment of U.S. troops to Europe.

Recall, US President Joe Biden on April 21 announced an additional US$800 million in security assistance and $500 million in economic support.

But top-level U.S. officials had not visited the country since it was invaded, even as European leaders went to witness firsthand evidence of atrocities committed by Russian soldiers in the suburbs of Kiev, The New York Times noted.

Source: Asia-Plus